top of page

How To Make Sambal

Updated: Apr 13, 2023

This is a very versatile sauce and is largely used in Southeast Asian dishes. Very much like Indian masala, there are hundreds upon hundreds of variations. I wouldn't say that this is an authentic or a traditional recipe. It is just my own rendition. I used a mixture of chilies in order to stack flavors. I did not use dried shrimps. But I used dried scallops and 3 different types of shrimp pastes.

You can of cos use whatever dried chilies you have on hand. You can also amp up the spiciness without deseeding; I am not as brave tho. If you can't find any form of shrimp paste, you can use 25g of dried shrimps. Be sure to soak the dried shrimps in warm water for at least 30 mins before blitzing with the rest of the ingredients.

But belacan is a must. You probably can find it in a Southeast Asian grocery store. This recipe will be included in my Ecookbook which I'd planned to sell. Please stay tuned.



(Make 1 Pint)

  • Ancho, 50g

  • Guajillo, 50g

  • Dried Kashmiri Chilies, 50g

  • Dried Scallops, 25g

  • Red Onion Coarsely Chopped, 1

  • Garlic Crushed, 5 Cloves

  • Ginger, 1/2 Inch

  • Fresh Red Chili Deseeded, 25g

  • Lemongrass White Parts Only, 4 Stalks

  • Lee Kum Kee's Shrimp Paste, 2 TBSP

  • Fermented Black Shrimp Paste, 1 TBSP

  • Peanut / Grapeseed / Sunflower Oil, 1/4 Cup

  • Belacan (Malay Fermented Shrimp Paste), 50g

  • Dried Mushroom Powder, Pinch

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • Gula Melaka, Pinch



  • Cast Iron Skillet / Pan

  • Food Processor / Blender

  • Steamer



  1. Hydrate the dried chilies in warm water for 30 mins to 1 hr.

  2. Meanwhile, add dried scallops into a bowl of 1 cup of water.

  3. Steam for about 15 mins or until the scallops are soft.

  4. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

  5. Once cool enuff to handle, shred the scallops and transfer them into a food processor.

  6. Add in 1/2 cup of the scallop water.

  7. Deseed the hydrated dried chilies and transfer them into the food processor.

  8. Add in the rest of the ingredients, except belacan, mushroom powder, salt and sugar.

  9. Blitz until smooth.

  10. Toast belacan in a skillet over medium heat.

  11. Break into small pieces with a spatula.

  12. Add in the chili blend.

  13. Add 1 cup of water into the food processor and blitz to clean up all the leftover nooks and crannies.

  14. Transfer the water mixture into the skillet.

  15. Stir to combine well.

  16. Saute until the color has darkened.

  17. Add in mushroom powder and stir to combine well.

  18. Taste and adjust for seasonings with salt and sugar.

  19. Give it a final stir.

  20. Transfer into a sterilized mason jar.

  21. Add 1 TBSP of peanut oil over the top. This layer of oil will prolong the shelf life of the sambal.

  22. Once cooled, cover tightly and store in the fridge.

  23. It will probably last for about 1 month.


Recipe Video:


This recipe is featured in my ECookbook:

89 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page