The best sambal for me is the one I found at the street food vendor made by abang-abang. No matter what the main food, as long as you have the RIGHT sambal, EVERYTHING IS GONNA BE ALRIGHT. #iykyk ( I’ve missed Indonesian food so bad)

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As Indonesian, I cannot live without Sambal. In fact, I was even trained to make various version of Sambal. This Sambal Terasi Kaki Lima is my best version and ninja-way to win people’s heart. It’s the easiest one yet I promise you, you’ll addicted to it.

The key ingredient here is candlenut (kemiri). You can change this with cashew for half amount of the written recipe, but I won’t guarantee if it will get the same result as it would have been.

Also, shrimp paste plays the key factor here. For me, the best shrimp paste I could get is from one city in Indonesia : Toboali, Bangka (call me a perfectionist). I usually got a few kilos every time I am back to my home country. A fun fact about shrimp paste is, it has a funky scent yet when it’s mixed with sambal, it releases special umami richness to the sambal.

Having tried Malaysian Belacan, Thais Chilis as well, Indonesian Sambal also has its own uniqueness compared to them. Not trying to brag, but I would say Indonesian Sambal Terasi would be the winner of them all 😀

sambal terasi

Sambal Terasi Kaki Lima

Indonesian Sambal (chili-paste) with street-style version made from chili padi, shallots, garlic, shrimp paste and my secret ingredient for a subtle nutty hint : candlenuts.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indonesian


  • 8 Candlenut Kemiri
  • 15 Shallots Bawang Merah
  • 5 Garlic Bawang Putih
  • 3 Tomato Tomat
  • 2 tsp Shrimp Paste Powder terasi bakar
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tsp MSG
  • 2 Kaffir Lime Juice jeruk limau, ambil airnya
  • 30 Red Chili Padi cabe rawit merah
  • oil to fry


  • Heat some oil in a wok on medium heat
  • Fry every ingredient separately (candlenuts, shallots, garlic, chilis, etc). Strain from the oil.
  • Grind your candlenuts, shallots, garlic, chilis etc with salt and sugar using mortar and pestle if you opt traditional way, with tomatoes at the very last. OR you can just blend them altogether with food processor. EXCEPT your kaffir lime juice.
  • For the hint of tangy and nice scent, pour in the kaffir lime juice at the end.
  • Serve right away or keep refrigerated in tight jar.


  1. If you want less spicy, add more tomatoes.
  2. If you can’t get powdered shrimp paste, you have to fry the shrimp paste beforehands.
  3. The sambal serves very well with fried chicken, fried fish and even fresh veggies.
Keyword Indonesian Food

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