Different Types of Indonesian Sambal

Like you may now already, Indonesia country is known for having people who are pretty strong to spicy taste. Almost in every meals in this country, you can find chillis in them. And the spiciness of them is really suitable for basically most people in Indonesia, but sometimes foreigners are not fond of them and choosing to have different kinds of food.

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But, some of them surprisingly like it, and really cursou about the sambal that used in the particular foods. And  because of that, Sambal is not only loved by locals, but also by the tourists who came to Indonesian and tried those spicy foods. If talking about kinds of Sambal in Indonesia, there’s actually thousands of them, but we only included some of them inside the different types of Indonesian Sambal below :

1. Sambal Bajak

The first one included on our article of the different types of Indonesian Sambal is Sambal Bajak. This kind of Sambal is very suitable for the people who want to try slightly spicy stuff on their foods. The spiciness is not that much, but it stil giving the people a taste of how Indonesian sambal should be. It also has a sweet taste in it, and when combined with the chillis, it’ll be great.

To find this kind of Sambal, you don’t need to go to some places that specially sell Sambals. But, you can also get one by visiting some Warung or food stalls near you. If you come to some stalls that sell kinds of Lalapan, then maybe you could get one because usually they will use this Sambal for their customers. You can also make it yourself by combining chillis, onion, garlic, and red tomato.

2. Sambal Terasi

Really loved by Indonesian people, here’s Sambal terasi. The combination between a spicy sambal and the additional ingredient, which is Terasi, is something else. It ahas a very unique and special smell though, which can hipnotize anyone to taste it. Beside that, the taste of Sambal Terasi is always refreshing, maing any food taste better.

For you who don’t know, beside using some basic stuff like tomato, chilli, and onion, in this Sambal there’s a special thing called Terasi. Terasi is basically shrimp paste, and one thing that oftenly used in any family in Indonesia. So, having a terasi in your house is like a basic need that need to be fulfilled. Because, you can make a wonderful Sambal Terasi from it.

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3. Sambal Cabe Ijo

A little different from the other Sambals above, this is Sambal Cabe Ijo. Sambal Cabe Ijo is not using the red chillis, but the green ones. And for you information, the green sambal is more spicy than the red. So, you may expect something more burning from this Sambal. But, even though it’s a whole new level of spicy, it’s still a great Sambal to taste.

You can find this kind of Sambal inside Padang foods. So, if you order any of those foods, you can have one set of Sambel Cabe Ijo. When combined together with the foods, the taste will be much greater. It’s very good and unique. If you want to make one, you’ll need green chillis, green tomato, garlics, onions, and also a little bit salt.

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4. Sambal Bawang

And the next one in the different types of Indonesian Sambal is Sambal Bawang. Many say that this one is included as a very basic sambal, becuase the ingredients to make it are not that many and very easy to get. That’s why, many people will usually make Sambal Bawang rather than any other types of Sambal, especially if they don’t have that much ingredients.

But, even though very simple, the taste of it is as good as other else. For the spiciness, it’s almost reaching the Sambal Cabe Ijo level, which is quite spicy. This Sambal uses two main ingredients, which is onion and garlic. They combined altogether with tomato and chillis. When you making this Sambal Bawang, make sure you add more garlics and onions to make the taste more stronger.

5. Sambal Dabu-Dabu

Like said on the information above, Indonesia has a large collections of Sambal. Even each area in Indonesia is having their own unique Sambal. Like this one for example, Sambal Dabu Dabu is the traditional Sambal of one island in Indonesia, Sulawesi. To be specific, it’s from Manado, which is the capital city of North Sulawesi.

In this Sambal, you don’t need to crush the ingredients with mortar and pestle. To make a sambal Dabu-Dabu, you only need to chop the ingredients into small size. And then put them together on a plat or bowl. For the ingredients, you need to prepare onions, garlics, red chillis, tomato, sugar, salt and also some basil for a good smell.

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6. Sambal Mangga

Seeing the ingredients that used in the Sambals, you may wonder, what if we add some other different ingredients like fruits or vegetables? Is it going to be good? The answer of those questions is, it’s surprisingly good. But, you need to find the stuff that is suitable with the spicy taste that Sambal has, like Mango for example.

Inside the Sambal Mangga, you can find mango flesh in it. This type of Sambal is also not using the crushing method with Ulekan or Mortar. The flesh is still in one pice and not destroyed. This Sambal Mangga has a pretty unique taste, which is a very fresh taste between spicy and sour. If you’re having a barbeque, this Sambal Mangga can be a perfect addition.

7. Sambal Tomat

The next one that also included in the different types of Indonesian Sambal is Sambal Tomat. Actually, it’s almost the same one with Sambal Bajak. The taste and the method to make it is also vry similar. But, this Sambal Tomat is more fresh than Sambal Bajak. The reason is because of the tomatoes that added more into the Sambal.

This Sambal Tomat or Tomato Sambal is also as spicy as Sambal Bajak. So, for you who are new to the world of spiciness, then maybe you should taste the other kinds of Sambal first like Sambal Mangga or Sambal Dabu-Dabu. Eating a fried chicken and rice with this Sambal Tomat will spoil you ultimately.

8. Sambal Kecap

And the next type of Sambal is Sambal Kecap. This kind of Sambal has its own speciality, and can be said to be more special than the other else. The main thing is, the additional sweet soy sauce. Because of it, the taste of this Sambal is more sweet. But that doesn’t mean this Sambal is not spicy, because its spiciness is also not less strong.

You can find this Sambal Kecap so easily in almost every Indonesian restaurants in your area. The sweet and spicy taste can not be found in another kind of Sambal. If you’re having a hard time finding it, then you can make it yourself by combining the ingredients like tomato, red chilli, green chilli, and also don’t forget to add the sweet soy sauce in the end.

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9. Sambal Petai

Beside Sweet soy sauce, mango, or maybe tomato, there’s another additional ingredient that can also be used inside a sambal, which is Petai. For you who don’t know, Petai is a friend for Indonesian people. Most of them really love this tiny thing. They even make some meals out of it. And also, Indonesian people created a special Sambal that has Petai in it.

Petai or Parkia Speciosa really has the strong taste and flavor. After eating it, your mouth will be much smelly afterwards. So don’t forget to clean up by whasing your teeth or  by chewing mint gum. And back to the Sambal, the process is making it is pretty simple. After combine all the stuff to make a sambal, you stir fry the sambal and then add some Petai. The number is optional though, based on your interest.

10. Sambal Matah

For the 10th place, we have this Sambal Matah. This one has some similarities with Sambal Dabu-dabu. If that particular Sambal is from Sulawesi island, then this Sambal Matah is the traditional sambal from Bali. The form of both is also very similar. It’s consider to be an easiest sambal to make, much easier than any other sambal we mentioned before.

To make one set of Sambal Matah, you don’t need to crush or stir fry the sambal. You only need to chop some ingredients and combine them together on the plate. And after putting them, you’ll need a lemon to make the sambal more fresh. You can also add some lemongrass to make the smell so good. The taste of this Sambal Matah is very refreshing, some tourists even want to visit Bali just for trying it.

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Beside the other Sambal mentioned above, we also have another small list of the different types of Indonesian sambal :

  1. Sambal Roa
  2. Sambal Tempoyak
  3. Sambal Belut
  4. Sambal Bongkot
  5. Sambal Hitam Belimbing Wuluh

So what do you think about them? Please do try at least some of them to feel the true culinary experience in Indonesia. If you’re not strong enough, you could try the sambals that have a sweet taste in them.