Heat of the Moment

Sambal_olekThe other day the food editors were enjoying sticky  rice cakes, inspired by a recipe for a traditional Laotian snack. Soy sauce and Sriracha were the condiments. I didn’t use Sriracha, but got to thinking how much I would’ve loved some sambal oelek (pictured here), the Indonesian chile paste.

In the world of Asian condiments, the fiery sting, vinegary bite, salty punch and chile seed-studded texture of sambal plays the part of whole-seed Dijon mustard to Sriracha’s smooth, sugary ketchup. And sambal works well with all kinds of foods.

I sometimes use it to spice up eggs, grilled cheese sandwiches, soups, stews, sauces, marinades, and various other dishes. Frankly, I use it more often than I’d like to admit. Get yourself an 18-ounce jar. Which sounds like a ton for such a potent relish—a little goes a long, long way.

Still, I bet you’ll need more very soon. 


  1. Peter Pan

    It’s a very nice article for me..
    Thank you for share this information.I am very happy to found your site.Thanks again.

    January 12, 2011 at 1:17 am
  2. cheap viagra

    The sambal oelek sauce is great I used to eat it with macaroni when I visited Indonesia and since that day I’ve never taste a sauce like this.

    August 18, 2010 at 11:06 am
  3. Matt

    They both rock. can’t go wrong with either.

    December 1, 2008 at 4:05 pm
  4. JasonB

    I’m addicted to sambal. I want to add it to every soup. My favorite Chinese restaurant keeps a jar on hand for me and friends. I can’t wait for my next grilled cheese now!

    November 21, 2008 at 11:14 am
  5. carole

    I love rooster chile paste, as I refer to it. I mix it with mayonnaise, a little lime juice and fresh cilantro and use it as a dipping sauce for fried calamari. Or spread the sauce on corn on the cob.

    November 14, 2008 at 9:33 pm

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