Sambal Oelek: Why You Need This Hot Sauce In Your Life!

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All you need to know Sambal.

sambal oelek

Food is one thing that connects people, and when you experience new food items or new dishes, you learn many new things about the heritage and lifestyles. Every country has its flavours and ingredients, and food has a wide variety to let you explore and try new things.

Exploring various cuisines can be an incredibly educational experience, with a generous helping of fun. However, it can be challenging to narrow down your options and pick one cuisine and one dish to start with.

If you’re having some trouble narrowing down your options, we have the perfect solution for you. Thai cuisine is easily one of the most popular and delicious options to explore.

Thai food is incredibly flavourful, decadent, fresh, and enjoyable, no matter what you try. In particular, the Thai are known for their bright, popping colours and flavours.

Although there are many ingredients they use to achieve this effect, chillies are the most popular. Bright red chillies give Thai food a rich colour and taste.

Sambal oelek is one of the ways Thai food gets this delicious flavour. Sambal oelek is an incredibly exciting, bright paste, and below, you can learn all you need about this delicious condiment.

What is sambal?

Indonesian Sambal

Sambal is an Indonesian spicy paste that is made with hot red chillies. Originally it is made in mortar. That’s why it’s a chunkier and thick-looking paste.

It’s the perfect blend of hot peppers, salt, and vinegar. There are hundreds of varieties available, and each blend has its chilli and seasoning.

Plus, some have a few more ingredients like onion, sugar, and lemon. You can make sambal with plenty of ingredients, but the original sambal has just chillies, salt, and vinegar.

It’s a kind of pulpy thick-looking sauce, and it’s versatile. It’s a must-have in the kitchen, especially if you enjoy Asian cuisine.

Why Use it?

One of the most important reasons why you should use sambal is that it’s healthier. It has no sugar added like sriracha, which makes sambal a healthier option than sriracha.

Also, when there is no sugar in sambal, it prevents the other ingredients from being less intense and true to taste. So, the other good thing about it is that you may need a lesser amount of sambal than sriracha or any other sauce because it’s more intense.

Furthermore, sambal gives your dish a beautiful rustic colour and thickness, and its seeds make the dish earthier and warm. You can use sambal in many dishes due to its composition as it has few ingredients.

You can use sambal in dips and dressings. Sambal is truly a versatile sauce. It can be used in different kinds of cuisine so that it can be your staple sauce for many good reasons.

How to use Sambal?

You can use sambal in plenty of different dishes, and due to its simple and powerful composition, it makes your dish stand out. You can add a spoonful of sambal oelek in your dishes like stir fry or gravies, stir for a minute, and you’re done.

You can add this beautiful sauce anytime to your dish. There’s no need to cook, so you can add it right before serving.

You can also add it while cooking as it won’t make any difference in taste. It’ll give the same taste and colour to your dish.

Sambal used in cooking

Brands of Sambal

Lucullus Lucullus sambal oelek 200g

An excellent product for spice lovers.

It’s made with fresh, super-hot red chillies, salt, and vinegar and goes well in many cuisines. If you want a fiery taste in your dishes, you’ll appreciate the intensity of this sauce.

This sambal sauce is very versatile, and you can use it in noodles, rice, meat, fish, eggs, and many other dishes. You can use this sauce as a meat marinade, too, because it is a thick chunky paste with a nice texture. It will give your meat a beautiful colour and taste.

A little goes a long way.
Owing to the intensity of taste, this sambal oelek can last you a long time. You won’t need to use much to get an intense taste.

Conimex sambal oelek hot chili paste

It’s a 200g pack of 2 jars, perfect for adding some spice to your life.

Beautiful, classic paste
This beautiful thick classic red chilli sambal gives a delicious taste to Asian cuisines. It also goes well with burgers, salads, and soups.

Authentic recipe
This sambal is made with sustainably grown chillies according to the authentic recipe.

This sambal paste gives any dish a spicy taste, and you can use this paste with many dishes.

Huy hong sambal oelek chili paste

Beautiful red chilli paste to brighten up any dish.

Compliment every dish
This thick smoky paste of chillies can go with different dishes, and it complements seafood.

Thick, non-watery paste
This thick chunky paste can be used as a marinade too with meat dishes. You can also add it to various other sauces to make a delicious thick dip without worrying about any wateriness.

As this sambal sauce has no sugar, so it’s healthier than any other chilli sauce.

Malay Taste Sambal Oelek Paste

This is an Malaysian chilli sambal sauce.

This sambal is originated in Indonesia. It has a sweet and hot chilli taste and can be used as a condiment with meat dishes.

Suitable for vegetarian
This sambal sauce is suitable for vegetarians too, and it has no hydrogenated fat and monosodium glutamate.

Beautiful flavours
This sambal has a beautiful chilli taste which goes well with many Asian and other dishes also.

Yeo's sambal oelek

A thick, fiery sauce perfect to make your favourite Asian dishes with.

Beautifully constructed sauce
This sambal is thick, and you can easily put this in any dish and make your dish tasteful. The thickness makes all your dishes much more robust and deeply flavourful.

Compliment all kinds of dishes
These sambal chillies complement your meat, seafood, and rice dishes. You can also use them in western cuisines like burgers and dips and sauces.

Easily available
This product is easily available around the world in many grocery stores and online too.

Where to buy it?

You can buy sambal oelek from any large Asian grocery store where Asian and Indonesian food is available. Or, you may buy sambal from online stores.

Sambal sauce is easily available in many grocery stores around the world.


How long can sambal sauce last?

You can refrigerate sambal sauce in an air-tight container for five days. If you want it to save for a longer period, store the sambal in the freezer to save it for 4 to 5 months.

Is sambal the same as Sriracha?

Sambal and sriracha’s composition is almost similar, but sambal is a thick paste and has fewer other ingredients. The original version of sambal has no sugar, garlic, and onions.

Sambal has a pure chilli flavour with seeds in it, and this pure chilli flavour and thickness make this sauce a chef’s favourite. Adding no sugar makes it distinctly different from the sriracha.

Sriracha is sweeter and more sour compared to sambal.

How do you eat sambal?

Traditionally you can eat sambal when added with other foods, but you can also eat it raw and cooked. You can use it both ways, like when cooking dishes and adding in your salads and dips.

Sambal goes with many dishes, and it gives heat, texture, and colour to any dish. You can eat it with noodles, rice, soups and the flavours go very well with meat dishes.

You can also add sambal with burgers patties or mix it in mayonnaise for innovative new flavours.

How hot is sambal sauce?

Sambal sauce is a chunky peppery sauce, and it has a Scoville rating of 2000. there are many different versions of sambal sauce with many types of chillies.

The heat depends on the chillies used and the amount you’re putting in your dish. However, sambal sauce isn’t too fiery, and you can eat it cooked and raw.

It adds a little kick to any dish and also compliments many mildly flavoured dishes.

What is sambal Spice?

Sambal isn’t a spice itself, but the name of the paste combining chillies, salt, and vinegar.

Is Gochujang spicier than sambal?

Sambal sauce and gochujang have a lot in common, but there are many differences between both sauces. Gochujang sauce is much thicker than sambal because it has starch and other ingredients.

Sambal oelek is hotter than gochujang sauce as sambal’s main ingredient is chillies.Gochujang relies more on other ingredients too, so sambal sauce has noticeably more heat than gochujang.

Gochujang is acidic and has a sour taste, too, due to fermentation.


There are hundreds of versions of Indonesian sambal oelek in the markets these days. Now it’s up to you which one you want to pick.

Sambal is a very versatile sauce. You can eat it raw in dips or use it in your cooking. Sambal goes with many dishes as originally it is made with few ingredients chillies, salt, and vinegar.

You can also serve it as table dip in raw form or maybe mix it in mayonnaise or maybe with yoghurt and herbs. It all depends on your preference and taste.

You can easily buy sambal sauce from grocery stores and online, and you will love this sauce as it can make your dishes taste fantastic.

Andy Canter


Ever since I started cooking I’ve been fascinated by how different people’s techniques are and how they best utilise the ingredients around them. Even the person living next door will have their own unique way of frying an egg or cooking a salmon fillet.

This fascination led me on a journey across the globe to discover the countless practices and traditions the world of cooking has to offer. I thought you’d enjoy and find value in sharing that journey with me so I created Cooked Best!