Homemade Sambal Oelek

"A staple in Malaysian and Thai cooking. Oelek means grinding so sambal oelek means ground chilli sambal! This can also be frozen."
photo by gailanng photo by gailanng
photo by gailanng
photo by Queen Dana photo by Queen Dana
Ready In:
1 batch




  • Blend the chillies, garlic, ginger and lemon grass in a food processor or mortar and pestle.
  • While processing gradually add the vinegar.
  • Place the pureed mixture into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
  • Add the salt and lime zest.
  • Remove from the heat, cool and bottle in sterilised jars.

Questions & Replies

  1. 230 gr of sugar, boy, that is a lot. how much of stevia do i put in?we do not like sweet.


  1. 3 for having a go!<br/>yes Sambal Oelek is from Indonesia, . Sambal Oelek is merely a brand name!<br/>, However sambals' are endemic throughout the Malaysian Peninsula and Sri Lanka Thailand ad infinitum and vary enormously<br/> Yes, way too much sugar, I add just a pinch of dark brown sugar, no palm sugar after I saw first hand what is happening to rainforest, esp. in Malaysia, to make way for palm sugar plantations.<br/>I like the lime/ginger touch.<br/>I simmer mine with lemon grass and then remove it before storage.<br/>And I use a mix of chillies, whatever is available or in season.<br/>As for the mortar and pestle, (phht)the kitchen whizz allows bulk production, share with the frenzies.<br/><br/>I use apple cider vinegar. Lets not get too pedantic, after all, food isjust another expression of Lurv
  2. This turned out to be the sweetest sambal I have ever made-sickly so. Wasted a pound of peppers. Really bummed. 1 cup of sugar? Seriously, way off, but I don't know how much less would make this any good.
  3. turned out guit well. how long will it last in the fridge. how to preserve it for longer periods of time
  4. Actually authentic sambal oelek consists of shrimp paste which is totally absent in this recipe. And if you couldn't source shrimp paste then you can make it at home by melting butter in a skillet and then add shrimps , salt and pepper . Cook through over high heat till shrimps are done and then put in a blender. I hope I am of some use to you .
  5. Firstly I'd like to straighten things out, sambal oelek is from Indonesia - but the spelling is old Dutch, where the first 'sambal oelek' brand was introduced. The word is javanese origin, meaning ground by stone mortar. There's no 'oelek' word in Malaysian....<br/><br/>Secondly, right about the sugar amount used in this recipe. Way too much. Besides, the real sambal oelek used brown palm/coconut sugar.


I have a passion for healthy and simple dishes with lots of vegetables, although I love a treat every now and again also, especially ice cream!
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