Daily Cooking Quest

Sambal Goreng - Fried Chili Paste

Sambal goreng (fried chili paste) is a basic multi purpose chili paste that can be the base of many delicious spicy dishes, plus it can be enjoyed as is, definitely one of the more handy item to have at home. With this sauce, I can make sambal goreng ikan (fish in spicy chili sauce), sambal goreng telur (eggs in spicy chili sauce), sambal goreng kentang (potatoes in spicy chili sauce), and many other sambal goreng dishes. You get the idea :)

Sambal Goreng - Fried Chili Paste

Since this is a rather versatile sauce, I usually make a rather large batch. This recipe yields a total of four cups of chili paste, and half a cup is good for preparing a dish with 500 grams (slightly more than 1 pound) of meat or vegetables of your choice. Feel free to half the recipe for smaller batch.

Sambal Goreng - Fried Chili Paste

Sambal Goreng - Fried Chili Paste

Author: Anita Jacobson



Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 45 mins

Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins

Serves: 3 cups


  • 60 gram dried red chilies
  • 100 gram garlic
  • 200 gram shallots
  • 300 gram onion
  • 30 gram shrimp paste (Indonesian: terasi), 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 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 to the chili paste. You can adjust salt and sugar to taste.
  7. Turn off heat. Let the chili paste cool, then transfer to glass jar to store. If not used immediately, store in the fridge for up to 1 week. It is also okay to freeze for longer storage.


  • Ben Helvensteijn says:

    Just found your website, and am eager to try your recipes. I'm from The Netherlands where I used to go out for 'Indonesian Ricetable' every so often. Here in the US I've been making just a couple of dishes, i.e. I am much in need of expanding my Indonesian menu, which is where you and your site come in. So for now: Thanks for setting this up; Expect me back once I've tried making some tasty hot and spicy indonesian dishes using your directions. Will rate recipe later.

  • Niki says:

    This sounds lovely, but I'm wondering if you use a specific type of chili?

    • Anita says:

      Hi Niki, I use dried red chilies from China. It's probably the most common dried chilies sold in typical Chinese/Asian market in the US. I think there are also dried chilies imported from Thailand, but those can be much hotter, which can be good if that's what you want. :)

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