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Very Spicy Sambal Oelek (20-minute. Recipe)

Sambal Oelek. A VERY spicy chili paste sauce made with bird’s eye chilies, onion, shallots, garlic, tomatoes and oil. A flavourful sauce used to cook your favourite dishes with or used as a condiment. Beware this is very spicy! I share a less spicy version below.
5 from 6 votes
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course condiment, dip, sauce
Cuisine indonesian, malaysian, singaporean, south east asian
Servings 2 cups
Calories per serving 786 kcal


  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 70 grams bird’s eye red chilies For LESS spicy version: use larger red chilis that look like jalapenos
  • 70 grams bird’s eye green chilies For LESS spicy version: use larger green chilis that look like jalapenos
  • 260 grams tomatoes I used cherry tomatoes for a sweeter flavour
  • 2 shallots halved
  • 1 small yellow onion sliced
  • 1 bulb garlic peeled
  • ½ cup avocado oil for later
  • 4 tbsp white granulated sugar
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • 3 tsp chicken bouillon powder omit if vegan (aka chicken stock powder)


  • In a hot wok or deep pan set over high heat add 2 tbsp avocado oil, followed by your chilis, onion, shallots, tomatoes and garlic cloves. Char them until the edges are browned. Remove from stove. Transfer to a blender or food processor.
  • Blend on high until the ingredients are grounded finely.
  • Pour the ingredients into the same wok or pan (I would recommend doing this outdoors on a portable stovetop to prevent inhaling hot chili smoke which can lead to a coughing fest!)
  • Bring the liquid to a boil and add ½ cup avocado oil, sugar, salt and chicken powder. Stir to mix. Allow this to simmer on low heat for 10 minutes uncovered.
  • Allow this to cool and transfer to a mason jar. Serve as a condiment with your favourite dish!
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Suggested Equipment & Products

Food processor
Silicone Spatula 3-Piece Set
Measuring Set
Calories: 786kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 69g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 2591mg | Potassium: 568mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 1418IU | Vitamin C: 77mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg
Course condiment, dip, sauce
Cuisine indonesian, malaysian, singaporean, south east asian
Keyword sambal oelek chili paste, sambal oelek diy, sambal oelek garlic, sambal oelek ground chili paste, sambal oelek recipe, what is a sambal oelek