Top 10 Best Substitutes For Sambal Oelek

Best Substitutes For Sambal Oelek

If you’re looking for a sambal oelek substitute, there are many options out there! A great option is to simply mix together fresh red chili peppers with a pinch of salt. This can be used as a flavorful and spicy condiment or in recipes that call for the distinctive flavor of sambal oelek.

If you don’t want to go through the trouble of deseeding and chopping chili peppers, prepared sauces such as Sriracha or harissa can offer big flavors without much effort.

If you’re looking for an even more unique alternative, try using a Chinese-style chili paste made with garlic and ginger – while it won’t pack quite the same heat, it still has the flavor complexity that sambal oelek offers. With just a little bit of creativity, you can make sure your dishes are never lacking in spice!

What is Sambal Oelek?

Sambal Oelek is a popular Southeast Asian condiment. It is most commonly used to add a kick of spice to dishes. The base ingredients for Sambal Oelek typically include garlic, chiles, and salt, but some variations may also incorporate shallots or ginger.

The hot sauce often takes on a crimson-orange hue from the ground chiles it contains. Its flavor is just as bold as its stunning visuals; you’ll find that Sambal Oelek has enough of a punch to make any dish stand out! Not only does this amazing condiment add delicious complexity to your recipes, but its powerful health benefits, including deriving antioxidants from the capsaicin in chili peppers and supporting digestion through garlic, make it an incredibly valuable part of any balanced diet.

You may like

Best Substitutes For Asafoetida
Best Substitutes For Fromage Blanc

Why Substitutes Sambal Oelek?

Sambal Oelek is an Indonesian chili sauce that is becoming increasingly popular around the world. Not only does it bring intense flavors to dishes, but it has a lot of health benefits as well! Sambal Oelek is made from fresh red chilies, and there are no added preservatives, oils, or salts.

This helps to reduce the amount of sodium present in the food, and can minimize cholesterol levels. It also provides a kick of heat that can break up congested phlegm and boost immune function within the body. In other words, sambal oelek not only increases flavor complexity within your dishes but also makes them healthier with its natural ingredients!

Sambal Oelek Substitutes

Sambal oelek is a chili paste that is commonly used in Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine. It is made with ground chilies, vinegar, salt, and sometimes sugar. While it is easy to find in Asian markets, sambal oelek can be difficult to find in other parts of the world. If you can’t find sambal oelek, there are a few substitutes that will work just as well in your recipes.

1. Harissa


Harissa is a traditional North African chili pepper paste used as a condiment for meats, rice dishes, and other foods. Its red color comes from ground chili peppers and its flavour ranges from mild to very spicy. Harissa is often used as a substitute for Sambal Oelek due to its similar spicy and flavorful profile.

This condiment can be sprinkled on soups or cooked vegetables, stirred into sauces or dressings, spread on sandwiches, or mixed with yogurt for a delicious dip!

To use harissa in your cooking, simply add it to the dish during the last few minutes of cooking time so the flavor of the pepper paste isn’t lost in the process. Harissa’s unique combination of spices makes it an excellent choice when looking to spice up any recipe or meal.

2. Tapatio Sauce

Tapatio Sauce

Tapatio Sauce has become increasingly popular as a substitution for Sambal Oelek due to its diverse combination of chili peppers, garlic, and spices. Although serving the same purpose of injecting spicy flavoring onto Asian cuisine, Tapatio Sauce offers a unique flavor profile and layers of deliciousness not found in most other chili sauces.

Furthermore, it is slightly tangy and brightens up dishes with the perfect balance of sweetness and heat. To use Tapatio Sauce in place of Sambal Oelek, simply add a few drops or dashes to soups and stir-fries to give a mild kick that packs big flavor!

3. Sriracha


Sriracha, or ‘rooster sauce’, has gained immense popularity in recent years for its wide range of uses. Originally from Thailand, it is a combination of chilies, garlic, vinegar and sugar which boasts an incredibly rich flavor.

Additionally, sriracha features far less heat than many other chili sauces, making it appealing to fans of spice who want to still maintain the flavor without the burning sensation. Often used as a substitution for Sambal Oelek in recipes, Sriracha’s blend of sweet and spicy can add a unique dynamic to soups and Thai dishes that are typically heavily reliant on chili paste.

To get the most out of this hot condiment, try incorporating it into light salads, grilled meats and stir fries – no matter what you choose, sriracha is sure to add an extra dimension of flavor!

4. Gochujang


Gochujang is an increasingly popular substitute for Sambal Oelek, a condiment traditionally used in Southeast Asian cuisine. Its main ingredients are chili pepper paste, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, and salt.

Gochujang has a milder flavor than Sambal Oelek but still has the same complexity to it. It has a sweet and spicy taste that makes it very versatile in different dishes such as noodles or soups. In addition to being flavorful, Gochujang contains anti-oxidants that help reduce inflammation and improve gut health.

To incorporate Gochujang into your cooking, start by adding small amounts of it to your recipes until you get used to its flavor. The heat it provides can vary so adjust the amount however when needed. Now spice up your meals with Gochujang and offer your taste buds something new!

5. Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

Frank’s Red Hot Sauce is a great substitute for traditional Sambal Oelek. It contains similar ingredients, like salt and chili peppers, but with a little extra kick. This sauce can be used to add extra flavor to many dishes and can easily replace Sambal Olek in recipes. As a substitute, it works best in dishes with simple flavors such as stir fries and marinades so that the heat of the sauce stands out.

When using, it helps to start with adding small amounts at first and then adjusting according to taste preference – remember you can always add more but taking away isn’t easy! A few drops of this delicious hot sauce will really make your food stand out!

6. Chili garlic sauce

Chili garlic sauce

Chili garlic sauce is a great substitution for Sambal Oelek, as it is easy to incorporate into many recipes. It brings robust flavors of chili, garlic and other spices, creating a great homemade condiment that can be used in a variety of dishes from Asian inspired food to Mexican cuisine.

Like Sambal Oelek, chili garlic sauce can be added when cooking or used as a table condiment. However, because it is spicier than Sambal Oelek, you may need to use less chili garlic sauce when substituting in order to achieve the desired level of spice.

Moreover, you can adjust the heat level by adding more or fewer peppers as per your palate. Next time you are looking to spice up your dish try using chili garlic sauce in place of Sambal Oelek!

7. Chili Crisp

Chili Crisp

The Chili Crisp is a multi-purpose condiment that has become popular as a substitute for Sambal Oelek. It contains tingly chili peppers, fragrant garlic, and nutty sesame seeds which all come together to form a flavorful and spicy topping perfect for food.

With its unique combination of ingredients, the Chili Crisp can be used in multiple ways in the kitchen such as adding a kick to soups or salads, giving extra heat to grilled fish or steak, or even using it as an alternative dip for fried snacks.

On top of its delicious taste, this chili crisp includes health benefits due to its rich source of essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Its versatility and great taste make it a great replacement for Sambal Oelek in cooking!

8. Tabasco sauce

Tabasco sauce

Tabasco sauce is a spicy condiment that has become increasingly popular in the last few decades due to its flavor and versatility. It can be used as an alternative to Sambal Oelek, a traditional Indonesian chili paste, as both ingredients contain cayenne pepper.

Tabasco sauce offers smokiness and a hint of tanginess that enhances the dish it is added to, making it a more rounded substitute for Sambal Oelek. The easiest way to use Tabasco sauce is simply to sprinkle it on top of dishes before serving or mix into finished ones, and most home cooks keep small bottles of the sauce at hand in their kitchens. Some chefs also incorporate it into marinades and salad dressings for ribs, steak, or spicy coleslaw. Its uses are virtually endless.

9. Jalapeños


Despite the fact that Sambal Oelek is an Indonesian chili sauce commonly used for adding spice to dishes, Jalapeños can be used as a great substitute. This type of jalapeño pepper is slightly hotter than your average jalapeño and tastes mildly spicy with a hint of sweetness.

The most ideal way to use jalapeños as a substitution for Sambal Oelek is by blending it with garlic and salt until it forms a smooth paste. Adding this mixture to any dish has the power to turn up the spiciness on whatever you’re making while bringing out a delightful flavor in the process.

10. Thai chili paste

Thai chili paste

Thai chili paste is a popular alternative to Sambal Oelek, as it offers a unique, slightly sweet heat that other pastes may not have. It’s made from a blend of chiles, garlic, shallots, and some spices or seasonings. Typically used in Thai cuisine, this paste adds an intense kick of flavors such as garlic and spice to dishes.

To use it for substitution for Sambal Oelek, stir fry the Thai chili paste over medium heat for about five minutes until you get the desired level of heat. Then mix it with sesame oil or vegetable oil and seasonings such as soy sauce and fish sauce to form a well-balanced combination. The result will certainly be a flavorful dish with an added depth that Sambal Oelek cannot offer.

Whatever substitute you choose, make sure to adjust the amount based on your personal preferences

When it comes to adding sweetness to our recipes, there are many different alternatives available. From honey and maple syrup to new artificial sweeteners, you should be able to find something that suits your taste.

Whatever substitute you choose, keep in mind that all of these ingredients can contain a large amount of sugar, so it is important to adjust the amount according to your own liking.

Start with a smaller amount than what is recommended in the recipe, and then add more if needed depending on how sweet you like your food to be. Taste testing as you go along is also a good way of determining how much sweetener is the right fit.


Sambal oelek is a spicy chili paste that originates from Indonesia. If you can’t find it at your local grocery store, don’t worry! There are plenty of substitutes that will give your dish the same amount of heat. Some popular substitutes include harissa, tapatio sauce, sriracha, gochujang, Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, chili garlic sauce, chili crisp, and tabasco sauce. personal preference. Whichever substitute you choose to use in place of sambal oelek, make sure to adjust the amount based on your

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>