Sambal Oelek

A recipe from Kat – Surry Hills

If you don’t want to buy a jar of sambal oelek you can quite easily make your own.

This is my take – I have seen many recipes which add sugar, lemon grass, ginger etc but I usually use this as part of a main recipe rather than a stand alone sambal – and I don’t want to effect the flavours of the dish too much. If you add it to a recipe and it tastes to hot balance it out with the other key flavours (sweet, sour, salty, spicy).

Oelek is the word used to describe the grinding / mortar and pestle so providing you have one its relatively straightforward to make. Its also keeps well in the freezer.


6 red chillies
1/2 lime
pinch salt


Cut the tops off the chillies and slice open and remove the seeds. Roughly chop into small pieces and pound in your mortar and pestle until they start to break down.  Keep grinding until it becomes a paste. Squeeze in 1/2 a lime and add a pinch of salt. Give it a good mix and its ready to use.

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