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10-Minute Sambal Oelek Red Chili Paste (Better Than Walmart!)

homemade sambal oelek in a dipping bowl
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This 10-minute Sambal Oelek recipe takes red chili peppers, vinegar, salt, garlic, and lime to make the famous Indonesian chili paste that’s absolutely bursting with flavor! We guarantee it tastes better than the storebought sambal oelek you’ll find in Walmart!

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What is Sambal Oelek Red Chili Paste?

In the Indonesian language, the word “sambal” means chili paste, and the word “oelek” means ground with a moljacete. Traditionally, sambal oelek is made with freshly ground red chili peppers and as such, is often spicier than the typical chili sauce like Sriracha.

When I lived in Indonesia, my housekeeper made sambal oelek using a moljacete fresh every week. And let me tell you: we’d eat every bit of her delicious sambal by the end of the week! Trust me, once you try making your own sambal oelek, there’s no going back! This Indonesian red chili paste adds so much flavor to anything you add it to, and is SO easy to make.

Of course, you can buy Sambal Oelek from your local grocery store like Walmart. But, once you realize how simple and quick it is to make on your own Sambal Oelek, there’s no reason you’ll buy the storebought red chili paste ever again!

Sambal Oelek Red Chili Paste is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan.

What You Need to Make Better-Than-Walmart Sambal Oelek

  • 1 pound red chili peppers , washed & de-stemmed
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • ¾ tbsp palm sugar (sub brown sugar)

How to Make Better-Than-Walmart Sambal Oelek

  1. Heat oil in a wok or skillet on medium-high heat. Add in red chili peppers and garlic. Stir-fry for about 2-3 minutes, or until garlic is fragrant and chili peppers are soft.
  2. Remove from heat and transfer the ingredients into a molcajete. Add all the remaining ingredients and grind until a rough paste forms. Alternatively, you can add all of the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until roughly combined.
  3. Add sambal oelek into a jar and cover tightly. Refrigerate the red chili paste until ready to use. ENJOY!

PRO TIP: Make double batches of Sambal Oelek, one to eat as is and one to make Sambal Aioli!

How to Use Sambal Oelek Chili Paste:

Our homemade sambal oelek pairs exceptionally well with various recipe, including:

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homemade sambal oelek in a dipping bowl

10-Minute Sambal Oelek Red Chili Paste (Better Than Walmart!)

DWELL by Michelle
This 10-minute Sambal Oelek recipe takes red chili peppers, vinegar, salt, garlic, and lime to make the famous Indonesian red chili paste that's absolutely bursting with flavor! We guarantee it tastes better than the storebought sambal oelek you'll find in Walmart! Our homemade sambal oelek pairs exceptionally well with Asian fried rice, noodles, and much more. And it's naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan.
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Dips
Cuisine Indonesian
Servings 16 servings
Calories 18 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound red chili peppers , washed & de-stemmed
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • ¾ tbsp palm sugar (sub brown sugar)

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil in a wok or skillet on medium-high heat. Add in chili peppers and garlic. Stir-fry for about 2-3 minutes, or until garlic is fragrant and chili peppers are soft.
  • Remove from heat and transfer the ingredients into a molcajete. Add all the remaining ingredients and grind until a rough paste forms. Alternatively, you can add all of the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until roughly combined.
  • Add sambal oelek into a jar and cover tightly. Refrigerate until ready to use. ENJOY!

Notes

Try our creamy dip variation of this Sambal Oelek -> Sambal Aioli  

Nutrition

Calories: 18kcal
Keyword better than walmart sambal oelek, how to make sambal, indonesian chili sauce, resep sambal, sambal oelek, sambal oelek recipe, sambal ulek
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Recipe Rating




19 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Can this be made with frozen chilis? I grew a ton of chilis last summer and have a bunch in the freezer.

  2. 5 stars
    Such an easy recipe that tastes even better than the jars I normally buy, and I’ve put this sambal oelek on everything!

  3. 5 stars
    HOLY COW this stuff is freaking addicting!! didn’t have a moljacete, but my trusty food processor worked well!