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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

Three Indonesian Condiments

For our New Year's Eve Rijsttafel, I made three different condiments to go along with the dishes - Serundeng, Sambal Kacang, and Sambal Oelek.


This is a simplified version of the crispy, aromatic condiment that is made up of dried coconut and crushed peanuts.

  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut, unsweetened

  • 1 teaspoon dried minced onion flakes

  • 1 teaspoon dried minced garlic flakes

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • pinch of salt

  • 1/4 cup peanuts, pulverized with a mortar and pestle

Toast everything together in a dry skillet until aromatic. Let cool and store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Sambal Kacang

This is a quick and easy chili-peanut sauce that is perfect with chicken satay. You can even spoon leftovers into soba noodles for an easy, savory dish.

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (I usually like crunchy, but I only had creamy)

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed

  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce

  • hot water as needed

Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Adjust the seasoning and add more water if the sauce is too thick.

Sambal Oelek

'Sambal' is an Indonesian word referring to a sauce made primarily with chile peppers. 'Oelek' (also olek or ulek) is a mortar and pestle. So, Sambal Oelek is an Indonesian chili sauce ground with a mortar and pestle. I actually cheated and put mine in the food processor.

  • 1 /2 pound red chile peppers, destemmed (Thai is traditional, but red jalapenos, serranos and cayenne peppers can be used)

  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice

Add all of the ingredients to a food processor or other grinder. Pulse or process until a paste forms. You can strain out some of the excess liquid if you'd prefer it thicker. Spoon into a jar and cover. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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