Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Sambal Oelek

Buy Now
Save to Recipe Box
Add Private Note
Buy Now
Saved Add to List

    Add to List

Add Recipe Note
Buy Now

What is it?

An Indonesian uncooked chile paste made of ground red chiles, salt, and vinegar. Some versions may contain garlic or sugar. Unlike other Asian chile pastes such as sriracha or gochujang, sambal oelek has a chunky texture with seeds and bits of chile pulp; “oelek” refers to a mortar-and-pestle-like tool used to make the paste.

How to use:

Use sambal oelek to spice up stir-fries, curries, or just about anything else. Add it at the beginning of cooking if you want it to really permeate the dish, or at the end if you want more of a surface heat. Until you’re familiar with the heat level or the brand you’re using, start with a very small amount; you can always add more.

How to store:

Some brands may separate during storage, so stir them before using. Once opened, sambal oelek will last just about indefinitely if tightly covered and refrigerated.

Click here to purchase


Leave a Comment


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 50%

Already a subscriber? Log in.


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.

Start your FREE trial