14 Ways to Use Sambal Oelek
Cantaloupe, Lime, and Chili Soup
You can never have too many hot sauces in the fridge. Our latest go-to is sambal oelek, an Indonesian ground chili paste made of fresh red chiles, salt, and vinegar. You can find jars of it next to that other addictive Southeast Asian condiment, Sriracha
, at Asian markets or in the international aisle of your grocery store. Use it to add a spicy, tangy kick to everything from marinades and dips to soups and cocktails.
Cantaloupe, Lime, and Chili Soup
Fiery sambal oelek and fresh lime juice are the perfect foils for sweet cantaloupe in this summery chilled soup.
Spicy Peanut Chicken
Seeking the perfect one-pan supper? Look no further. Toss boneless chicken thighs and broccolini in a chili-spiked peanut sauce, broil for 10 minutes, and serve.
We didn't think a classic margarita could be improved upon until we tasted this chili-and-cucumber rendition. It's spicy, refreshing, and eminently quaffable.
Serve this homemade pho at your next dinner party and you'll be a total star. No one will know that the broth can be made up to one month ahead. Set out the traditional accompaniments of sambal oelek or Sriracha, hoisin sauce, fresh cilantro and basil, sliced chiles, and lime wedges, and let your guests help themselves.
Spicy Chili Dip
Couldn’t be easier -- simply wake up sour cream by adding a dash of sambal oelek and salt. This lively creamy dip can be made up to two days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
Spicy Turkey Thighs and Bacon Stir-Fry
Sambal oelek, fresh ginger, bell peppers, and scallions cut the richness of the bacon beautifully in this sensational turkey stir-fry.
What's the secret weapon in this extra-special sauce? Why sambal oelek of course! Not only will it transform your next burger night, this sauce also makes a great dip for French fries.
Grilled Pork and Noodle Salad with Basil, Cilantro, and Mint
Sambal oelek makes a flavorful marinade for pork, especially when combined with umami-rich fish sauce. Wispy vermicelli, crunchy cucumbers and carrots, and a ton of fresh herbs complete the dish.
Hoisin-and-Chili-Glazed Chicken Drumsticks
Chicken drumsticks are slathered in an addictive hoisin and chili glaze that will have you licking your fingers all night long. Serve over steamed rice alongside our light, crunchy Asian slaw.
Spicy Grilled Shrimp
Smoky, fiery, and irresistible: a quick turn on the grill and the combination of sambal oelek and fish sauce give these shrimp skewers tons of flavor.
Chinese-Style Spare Ribs
No grill needed for these pork ribs. They're smothered in a tangy, sweet, spicy glaze and cooked to perfection in the oven.
Soba Soup with Chicken, Shrimp, and Vegetables
Perk up this cleansing buckwheat-noodle soup with a spicy-sweet sauce comprised of sambal oelek, rice-wine vinegar, soy sauce, and honey. You can make the sauce up to three days in advance and the broth a day ahead.
Banh Mi Sandwich
Our take on the classic Vietnamese pork-and-pickled-veggie sandwich features sambal oelek and mayo as the creamy, piquant base spread.
Spicy Hoisin Dipping Sauce
A perfect example of a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts; hoisin, sambal oelek, and vinegar create a tart, spicy sauce for dipping all kinds of vegetables, dumplings, and spring rolls.