Sambal Ulek

15-sambal-oelek1Sambal ulek is the basis of lots of Indonesian chili sauces (sambals). At least that is what I make up out of Beb’s recipe for this sambal.

For a sambal ulek I need to rub chili peppers and salt together and keep it in a clean jar. If you want to make sambal trassi, just add some shrimp paste to your sambal ulek. If you add coconut cream and candlenuts (kemiri nuts/buah keras), galangal and lemongrass you make a sambal badjak. You can of course eat a sambal ulek just how it is as a regular sambal.

Sambal ulek #15 translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, page 57.


  • 20 lomboks (chili peppers)
  • 2 teaspoons of salt

  1. Wash and cut the chilies. You can also use a mixer with blades.
  2. Rub the peppers with the salt in the cobek (mortar).
  3. Fill up a big jar that is cleaned with soda and keep it with the lid on in the refrigerator.

15-sambal-oelek-zoutI use red chilies, but all kinds of peppers are possible. Small red and green chilies can be much more spicy. You can also use Madame Jeanette (Capsicum chinense) if you like it extremely hot.

I’m not always in the mood for super hot food, so when I like to make a less spicy sambal I deseed the chilies. I do not cut my peppers to finely. I like my sambal rough and crisp.

Go to all sambals in this blog.


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1 Response

  1. Lee Thayer says:

    Thanks, Pauline, this sounds like a nice base recipe for chili sauces.

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