Sambal Oelek

  • Author: Michelle Minnaar
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x


Sambal oelek is a spicy chutney or paste used in Malaysian as well as Indonesian cuisines. Beware, it involves quite a lot of fresh chilli peppers.



  • 10 green bird’s eye chillies, washed and tops removed
  • 10 red chillies, washed and tops removed
  • 1  red pepper, washed and chopped
  • 1 red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tomato, washed and chopped
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 2.5cm (1in) fresh ginger, peeled and cut into slices
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 45ml (3 tbsp) vegetable oil
  • 7.5ml (1 tsp) salt
  • 2.5ml (½ tsp) black pepper
  • 5ml (1 tsp) dried red chilli flakes
  • 5ml (1 tsp) paprika
  • 2.5ml (½ tsp) dried turmeric


  1. Place all the ingredients in a large frying pan and fry for 10 minutes or until everything is cooked.
  2. Transfer the contents to a food processor and blend until smooth, or desired consistency.
  3. Store in the fridge and use as needed.


  • Some versions of Sambal Oelek only consist of chillies and salt. This recipe gives a wider flavour range and remains very spicy!
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: Pan Fry
  • Cuisine: Indonesian

Keywords: Sambal Oelek recipe, vegan Sambal Oelek, Indonesian cuisine