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Chili Sambal (Sambal Oelek)

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Chili Sambal (Sambal Oelek)

Jan 6, 2017 | Food Blog, Most Viewed, Sambal | 0 comments

Chili Sambal (Hot & spicey) or Sambal Oelek

If you love hot spicey food, including hot chili, many of the Indonesian sambals are just made for your pleasure! Sambal Oelek, is also known as olek or ulek refering to the  Indonesian mortar and pestle that is used ot make this type of sambal. Sambal is the Indonesian term for a sauce made with hot chili peppers, salt and sometimes vinegar. Veriations can also contain onion (especially the small red onions) lime or lemon juice, garlic and sugar. Sambal Terasi being also a variation that has terasi in it as well, similar to Sambal Kimiri (Candlenut) which of course have candlenuts added. 

Super easy Indonesian sambal, use a ulakan for the authentic flavour, or the blender if you are in a rush and happy to compromise. Well known as a hot and firey sambal.

There are many premade bottles of sambal readily available, however there is an authenticity to actually making this fresh at home.


Serves: 5-6 people

Main Ingredients

  • 8 steamed small red chilies (cabe rawit)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice or cuka (vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ – 2 teaspoon sugar or palm sugar (according to taste)


  • garlic
  • candlenuts (dry roasted)
  • terasi (roasted)


To Prepare

  1. Steam the chilies
  2. Combine all the ingredients on the ulkaran. Grind well and set aside.


Combine all ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth.

Recipe Notes

A popular simple sambal. Some versions can also contain onion, lemon or lime juice, garlic, or sugar. Terasi is added for Sambal Terasi, Tomatoes if people want a lighter less spicy sauce. Feel free to adjust the recipe to your desired taste and of course according to how spicy your chilies are. The amount of vinegar and salt, improves the fridge life, and this can be stored for a week to 10 days without problems, however in our house it does not last so long!

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