Sambal Oelek: Sriracha’s Fiery Cousin

Sambal Oelek is an Indonesian chile paste consisting of crushed raw red chiles, red and green peppers, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, vinegar and a pinch each of sugar and salt. A flavorful condiment and ingredient in cooked foods and extremely popular in the Netherlands. It tastes like you are cooking with fresh chiles – only better.

Sambal Oelek is available in the Asian food section of supermarkets or Asian food stores. One tablespoon is roughly the equivalent of a chopped, small jalapeño.

Sambal Oelek aficionados prepare their own of course. Visiting the Netherlands regularly, I buy it at Ron’s Gastrobar in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel near Amsterdam.

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