Sambal Oelek

Sambal Oelek

March 4, 2014

I adore all the little sauce-pots at Thai, Vietnamese, and other Asian restaurants – not to mention the daily presence that Sriracha has become in my life since discovering it a few years back.  But when I look at the labels on any of these sauces, I can’t help but think there must be a simpler, cleaner way to add a kick to my dishes.

That’s why I love Sambal Oelek.  In the purest versions of this Malaysian recipe, you need only combine three ingredients – chili peppers, vinegar, and salt – to bring depth and spice to dishes of all kinds.  That said, customization is key!  I make mine with Serrano chilies – halfway between the jalapeno and the habanero on the heat index – and smoked salt, and add lime.

You will be addicted to this easy-prep, long-lasting sauce, which is ideal for adding some quick-at-hand spiciness in your stir-fries, sandwiches, or scrambled eggs.

A note about the seeds – like your favorite mini-skirt, they bring the heat. Add with caution to get smokin’, not scorched.



      20 Red Serrano Chili Peppers
        2 tbls. Rice Vinegar
          The juice of 2 Limes
            Smoked Salt to taste



          De-stem and de-seed chilies, reserving and placing aside the seeds from 3 of them, then cut chilies into 1-inch sections and blend in food processor until they achieve a paste-like texture.  Combine with rice vinegar and lime juice, then add seeds – slowly, they are very hot – and smoked salt to taste.  Place in a glass jar and store in the refrigerator.

          Total Time: 10 minutes

          Serves: 30


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Photo of Ingredients