Sambal Goreng (Fried Chili Sambal)

An everyday sambal with a myriad of uses, sambal goreng is as common in Malaysia as ketchup is in the West. From nasi lemak to Penang Hokkien Mee, this essential sambal adorns and flavours many of our favourite meals, and is the ideal condiment to a wealth of dishes.

Simple to make, adaptable and easily replicated at home, this handy sambal can also be used as a marinate for any meat destined for the grill. It can also be used as a stir-fry sauce for just about anything – simply add a splash of water and you’ll be good to go.

With a shelf-life of a couple of weeks, this tangy classic is bound to become a pantry favourite!

To discover other delicious Malaysian recipes from The Muddled Pantry, please click here

Sambal Goreng (Fried Chili Sambal) 

Makes approx. 400ml


  • 8 dried chilies, soaked in hot water till soft
  • 1 large brown onion, roughly chopped
  • 5 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 4 candlenuts (substitute with macadamia nuts or skinned almonds)
  • 8 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree/paste
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste


  1. In a food processor, grind the onions, garlic, nuts and chilies till very smooth. Add a splash of water to help things along
  2. Dissolve the tamarind paste in 200 ml boiling water
  3. Heat the oil in a wok over a high heat. Once hot, turn the heat down slightly and add the onion/chili blend
  4. Fry over a medium high heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring the sambal regularly until it thickens, darkens slightly, and the oil separates.
  5. Add the tomato paste, sugar and salt
  6. Continue cooking for another couple of minutes
  7. Add the tamarind water and increase the heat
  8. Fry until it all comes together


To discover other delicious Malaysian recipes from The Muddled Pantry, please click here



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