Homemade Sambal Oelek


Sambal Oelek is a very hot sauce great for spicing up winter meals.

The recipe is safe for someone on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet or GAPS.

Sambal is a sauce that originated in Indonesian or Malaysian and can be made from many different types of chilies. Sambal Oelek means “ground chilies”. Making this sauce at home from fresh ingredients is called “Sambal Dadak”.

This recipe is made with both dried and fresh ingredients but for best results use fresh ingredients whenever possible. Be very careful when working with hot chilies as they can burn skin, eyes and lungs.

Sambal Oelek

1c organic dried red chilies
1/4c organic lemongrass
1c boiling filtered water
2/3c organic garlic, peeled
2/3c organic ginger, chopped
2/3c organic cider vinegar
1/2c local honey
1T sea salt
1 organic lime peel
Put the chilies and lemongrass into a bowl. Bring the filtered water to a boil and pour over the chilies and lemongrass. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes. In a food processor or Vita-mix machine, puree the garlic and ginger. Add the vinegar, honey, sea salt and lime peel and blend until smooth. Add the soaked chilies and lemongrass and puree. Reserve the soaking water. Add some of the soaking water if the sauce is too thick. Store in a glass jar in the fridge. The sauce will last for a year or longer if refrigerated.


For a milder Sambal Oelek add some of the sauce to raw or toasted sesame seed oil. This is raw sesame seed oil but using toasted sesame oil is very good too.

Sambal Oelek in Sesame Seed Oil

1 part Homemade Sambal Oelek
4 parts organic raw or toasted sesame oil
Sambal Oelek is a very hot sauce. One way to tame the hot flavor is to add some sauce to an oil base. Any oil can be used but raw or toasted sesame oil would be a traditional choice. If possible, allow a week for the sauce to infuse into the oil before using but the oil can be used right away. For a mild spicy flavor skim the oil from the top of the jar. For a hotter dish use a mixture of the oil and Sambal solids.