Sambal Goreng - Fried Chili Paste

4.6 from 11 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson



Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 45 mins

Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins

Serves: 4 cups


  • 60 gram dried red chilies (use Thai chilies for hot version, and Chinese chilies for a slightly milder version)
  • 100 gram garlic
  • 200 gram shallots
  • 300 gram onion
  • 30 gram shrimp paste (Indonesian: terasi, Malaysian: belacan), toasted
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves (optional)
  • 200 gram sugar
  • 40 gram salt
  • 20 gram tamarind + 4 tablespoon water, massaged into thick paste, strained


  1. Remove seeds from the dried red chilies, then soak in hot water for 15 minutes to soften the chilies.
  2. In a food processor/blender, grind together chilies, garlic, shallots, onion, toasted shrimp paste, and water into a fine paste.
  3. Transfer the paste to a wok/frying pan. Cook the chili paste on medium-high until the paste becomes thicker and drier, i.e. we want to evaporate the water as much as possible before adding oil to prevent splattering. Stir every so often.
  4. Add in the oil and kaffir lime leaves. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir to mix well.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for another 20 minutes, or until the oil starts to separate from the chili paste. Stir every so often.
  6. Add sugar, salt, and tamarind juice. Cook until everything has been incorporated into the chili paste. You can adjust salt and sugar to taste.
  7. Turn off heat. Let the chili paste cool, then transfer to glass jars to store. Since this recipe makes 4 cups of chili paste, it is best if you can store in multiple glass jars. Any unopened jar can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 months. Any opened jar should be used within 1 week.

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