Sambal Oelek is a fiery Southeast Asian chilli paste made from crushed chilli peppers and vinegar.
Always popular in Malaysian and Indonesian dishes, it is quickly becoming very popular in the Western hemisphere too.
It was invented mainly as a method of preserving chillies, long after the growing season had finished
The main ingredients are chilli peppers and a small amount of rice wine vinegar, but other ingredients are often added, such as garlic, salt and lime juice. Just what you can add and still call it sambal oelek is a point for discussion in many kitchens around the world
While there are many “sambals” around the world, sambal oelek is one of the most basic. It doesn’t have the sweet or vinegary taste of most chilli pastes, and can be added to almost any dish where you want the taste of chillies and nothing else
200g/7oz assorted red chillies, roughly chopped
5 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until almost smooth
It really is that simple!
Once you have made the sambal oelek, put it in a clean, sealable jar and keep in the refrigerator
As long as your jar was cleaned properly and the lid is kept on, it will keep for up to 6 months
It ‘might’ keep for longer, but a jar has never lasted that long in my kitchen