Indonesian Sambal

Sambal, it is absolutely main complement dishes that a lot of Indonesian can’t live without, including me. There are a lot of sambal recipe in Indonesia, since we are have a such big culture that spread all over islands *here I am being so proud of being Indonesian.  I can said that every islands and every tribe have such different unique culture, dishes and the way of live, such diversity we got. I can explore the Indonesian food culture in my whole life and I don’t think it will hit an end, just talking in here like this it’s already give me feeling overwhelmed haha.

I can’t live without Sambal, I love the heat, I love the sensation that it brought, I love the pump of excitement it gave to me, well it is me Hot Spicy junkie. What I will mention here is just one from hundreds Sambal recipe, I will specifically give you all the recipe I got in different post. You can literally enjoy Sambal in every dishes you got, fishes, meat, chicken, or veggie it is so versatile. Me personally I always enjoy sambal with vegetable, raw or blanch, it is a must for me to have a vegetable side dish every time I have sambal in my menu, no matter what other side dishes I got, sometime I just simply enjoy sambal, vegetable and brown rice that’s all, and I’ll be happy like a fool haha.



This sambal is the simplest sambal recipe, from the ingredient and the quickness of the execution *pardon of my word choices haha. It’s just consist juicy tomatoes, lime/lemon juice, chilli and shallot that is all. You can enjoy it with blanch veggie, slice of cucumber, Arugula leaf or lettuce the option are endless. Also if you are fans of meat, you can also enjoy it with meat, chicken, fishes, certain seafood dishes, this sambal could be your fresh relish *always there is someone who like it hot

And here all you need;


Serve 1 smal bowl


  • 1 Medium size French shallot
  • 1 Red chilli (seed out if you want to, but I keep it and double it amount)
  • 7 Bird eye chilli (be careful this super hot, if you omit this chilli, you can double your red chilli with seed out)
  • 1 Big juicy tomatoes
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tbs lemon/lime juice
  • 300ml water to poach them


Put all the ingredient on the small sauce pan, bring in the water and poach them under medium heat. Cooked them until soft, my sign is if I start sneezing *haha, that is good sign to take them out from the heat, mean they are already soft and cooked perfectly. Blitz them in food processor or blender, keep them rough not too smooth, but all back to your preference, me myself rather love to taste the chunk of chilli *HOTHOTHOT. Right before serving, mix them with the lemon/lime juice. Enjoyyyy



Tempe, I always exciting about this food ingredient, tempe is always become my favourite, as well as my kids and the rest of family. I eat a lot tempe and typical Indonesian tofu back home, there is no better place than home, but I could build my home here *keep positive. Even I know a lot GMO issue surrounding the soya, the key ingredient of tempe, but I just couldn’t help it, since its my ultimate comfort food. I craft this tempe by myself, since I don’t know where to find them in Madrid, I once made tempe from chickpeas but still not satisfied with the taste, but maybe I need to give it another try to see how it work, also chickpeas are healthier than soya. Usually I enjoy this dishes with brown rice, raw/blanch veggie, slice cucumber or just simple with warm brown rice, back home also we can enjoy it with fried vermicelli, Indonesian fried chicken, Indonesian vegetable salad (mix vegetable with sambal from young coconut flake, it is super delicious hmmm) oh no I can’t help now *haha, I think should stop here, the point is endless variation, typical Indonesian food usually compliment each other, we call it “Nasi Campur”, Nasi campur is super vegan friendly with burst and complex flavour, you can omit the meaty source dishes and still you got endless option *I love Indonesian food, I’ll make later some Vegan friendly nasi campur in later post with the ingredient I got in hand *laziness please go away haha.

Okay back to the this sambal tempe, here all you need, but I am really sorry, I don’t think you can replace the authentic Tempe flavour with any other ingredient, but you can try to find any tempeh in Asian grocery store, in freeze section and hope you can find it some. Below recipe are super hot, but please you can freely modified to your preference, free your mind and steal the idea *wink



  • 500 gram tempeh
  • 1 1/2 medium french shallot
  • 2 medium size garlic
  • 4 red chilli (seed out if you want to but I keep it)
  • 8 bird eye chilli
  • 1 tbs Terasi/shrimp paste *I’ll make a note below
  • 1 Juicy medium size tomatoes
  • 5 lime leaf
  • 1 lemon grass
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • Sunflower oil to fried the tempe


  1. Cut the tempe in medium size, in medium heat put medium size pan and sunflower oil until it sizzling hot, fried tempe until it golden brown (if you want to add even more savouriness to the tempe, you can soak the tempe in little water with sea salt and grated garlic yum yum). There are another way instead of fried the tempe, if you get more concern on health, you can grilled the tempe until it slightly burn and I am sure the taste is even better with smokiness of the tempe, it will add another texture and a dimension to the flavour of this dishes. After it cooked, mashed roughly the tempe.
  2. Fried with 1 tbs sunflower oil, chilli, shallot, garlic, tomatoes and shrimp paste. Fried it until it soft, if you find yourself sneezing it is a good sign to taking it out from the heat *haha, sorry. And then blitz the sambal until it perform smooth paste.
  3. In medium heat, put medium pan and bring in the sambal, lemon grass and lime leaf, fried them until fragrance and put in the tempe, sea salt and brown sugar, mix them thoroughly until it cooked perfectly.
  4. It’s ready to serve, if you have basil leaf, you can add to them, it will bring even more complexity to the dishes. Me myself usually will mix it with a lot of slice ginger torch (ginger torch is ginger flower which is so fragrance and it adding fresh sour taste) but so far I can’t find it in Madrid, even I ever saw that it also used for some Japanese food, but I think not the mainstream Japanese food.


*Shrimp paste, honestly so far I haven’t find this in Madrid, but I think what you can do is replacing by using dried shrimp, even thought I think the taste will be slightly different, since shrimp paste through fermentation process. But at least you can bring the taste of the ocean to the dishes. What you can do is, clean up the shrimp, head on, and bake them in low heat oven until it dried and then grind them into powder, you can used food processor, not necessary super fine but smooth enough. Sometime I also put this dried shrimp to my laksa recipe and Indonesian curry that we called it Lodeh.





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