9 Best Sambal Oelek Substitutes

Sambal Oelek is a delicious hot sauce that’s traditionally made from red chili peppers and vinegar. It’s a spicy chili paste that is used in many Asian dishes. 

You can use it as a condiment or an ingredient, and it adds a lot of flavor to your food.

But if you can’t find this tasty condiment at your local supermarket or health food store, what should you do? 

Luckily there are plenty of great Sambal Oelek substitutes out there that will work perfectly in most recipes calling for this tasty spicy condiment.

The best Sambal Oelek substitutes include cayenne pepper, chili garlic sauce, harissa, gochujang, sriracha, tabasco hot sauce, red pepper flakes, fresh jalapeño pepper, and homemade Sambal Oelek (recipe given below.)

Keep reading our article to know how you can use these amazing substitutes for Sambal Oelek in your recipes whenever you want.

What is Sambal Oelek?

Sambal Oelek originates from Indonesia and is made by crushing fresh red chilis into a paste.

Sambal Oelek is a chili paste that’s used in many spicy dishes. It usually contains powdered chili peppers, vinegar, salt, and a preservative. This condiment is commonly used in sauces or as a side dish for various types of Asian food.

Originally this paste looked a lot like raw ground beef, but nowadays the texture is a whole lot different.

This hot sauce is used as a condiment and also as an ingredient in dishes throughout Asia. It’s a traditional and tasty way to spice up your meals.

It provides a lot of flavor to recipes and goes well with all sorts of meats, vegetables, and bread.

9 Best Sambal Oelek Substitutes

1. Chili Garlic Sauce

Chili garlic sauce is a popular ingredient in Asian foods. This tasty condiment comes from China and can be found at most grocery stores.

It’s made by combining chili peppers, vinegar, salt, soybeans, garlic, xantham gum, etc.

It’s usually used as an ingredient for cooking certain dishes or as a spicy topping to add some flavor to any meal.

You can also find this condiment at most Asian food stores or in the international foods aisle of your local grocery store.

This hot sauce is a delicious way to spice up recipes and works well with all sorts of meats, vegetables, and bread.

You can substitute chili garlic sauce as a substitute for Sambal Oelek.

2. Sriracha

Sriracha Substitutes

Sriracha is another hot sauce that’s similar in consistency and taste to Sambal Oelek.

If you’re looking for a spicy sauce that you can use as an ingredient or topping, this is what you need.

It is a popular condiment that’s native to Thailand and Vietnam. Sriracha is made with chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar, salt, etc. It has a rich flavor which makes any dish more tasty and appetizing.

You can use sriracha to make many different dishes tastier, including stir fry, soups, noodles, pizza, etc.

One of the main ingredients that make this condiment so tasty is the chili peppers, which provide a tangy and spicy flavor.

You can purchase this condiment at grocery stores in the Asian food aisle or in the international foods section or try making it at home. It’s the perfect Sambal Oelek substitute.

3. Gochujang

Gochujang is used as a condiment in many Asian dishes and also as an ingredient. It’s found at most supermarkets in the Asian aisle or international foods section.

This popular sauce comes from Korea and contains rice, glutinous rice, soybeans, salt, etc.

In many recipes, gochujang can be substituted for Sambal Oelek or even sriracha if you need a lot of flavor in a dish. It’s also delicious as a topping on various meats, vegetables, and bread.

It’s a traditional Korean condiment that tastes a lot like chili sauce or sriracha. It provides a rich and spicy flavor to any dish, making it a great substitute for Sambal Oelek.

4. Tabasco Hot Sauce

Tabasco Sauce

If you’re looking for something with a similar consistency to Sambal Oelek, this hot sauce is perfect.

Tabasco is made with tabasco pepper which has a spicy flavor and can be substituted in recipes calling for Sambal Oelek. This popular sauce also contains vinegar, salt, and other spices.

It’s commonly used as a spicy topping or condiment, and can even be used as an ingredient for various dishes.

This hot sauce is made by aging tabasco peppers in vinegar until it becomes a paste. It has a distinct taste and makes any dish more delicious.

5. Red Pepper Flakes

Red pepper flakes make great substitutes for Sambal Oelek because of their spicy and tangy flavor.

You can use this condiment as a topping or an ingredient in nearly any dish that you want to have a little extra flavor.

Red pepper flakes come from crushed red chili peppers and therefore provide a similar taste to Sambal Oelek.

It is then aged in salt or brine. It also provides a spicy flavor that makes any dish more tasty and appetizing.

6. Harissa

Harissa Substitutes

If you’re looking for something with the same texture as Sambal Oelek, this is what you need.

Harissa is a Tunisian hot sauce that has a spicy flavor. It is made from chili peppers, garlic, olive oil, coriander, cumin, caraway seeds, etc.

It can be used as an ingredient in many different dishes or simply added to the top of any meal for extra deliciousness.

You can make this condiment at home or purchase it from a supermarket.

7. Cayenne Pepper Flakes

If you want a hot sauce that’s similar in texture and taste, cayenne pepper is the perfect substitute for Sambal Oelek.

Cayenne pepper is made by drying cayenne pepper peppers and crushing them into flakes.

This popular condiment provides a spicy flavor that makes any dish more tasty and appetizing. It also contains capsaicin, which gives it the spicy taste that you love so much.

Cayenne pepper flakes are made from ground cayenne peppers. They’re used for cooking, baking, and many other purposes.

8. Fresh Jalapeno Peppers

Jalapeno Pepper

Jalapeno peppers are another great substitute for Sambal Oelek because of their spicy flavor. These peppers are made from jalapenos which have a tangy, spicy taste to them.

They can be used as an ingredient or topping in many different dishes to provide that deliciously spicy flavor that you crave.

Jalapeno peppers are really versatile and can be used in many dishes to make them more delicious.

They come from spicy chili peppers that grow on the plant of the jalapeno pepper plant. You can make these peppers at home or purchase them from a supermarket.

9. Homemade Sambal Oelek

Of course, the best way to make a substitute for Sambal Oelek is to make it yourself.

It’s really easy to create this hot sauce by mixing small amounts of other spices into a paste.

The core ingredients are chili peppers, vinegar, and salt. You can then add in any other additional spices such as garlic powder or ginger powder.

How to Make Sambal Oelek at Home

Sambal Oelek is a hot sauce that has a delicious flavor, but it’s hard to find in stores.

You can make your very own spicy sauce at home by mixing fresh chili peppers with salt and vinegar.

Step 1: Purchase Fresh Chili Peppers

Chili peppers are used to make this hot sauce, so you’ll need to pick these out first.

You can use any type of chili pepper you like, but Fresno peppers are the most common variety that is used for this recipe.

Step 2: Wash Your Chili Peppers

Wash your fresh chili peppers with warm water to prepare them for the next step. It’s good practice to wash vegetables before preparing them.

Step 3: Remove the Stem and Seeds of Your Chili Peppers

It’s important to remove the stem and seeds before you chop up your chili peppers because this is where most of the heat comes from in a pepper.

If you leave them intact, the spiciness will transfer to your sauce.

Step 4: Chop Up Your Chili Peppers

Chop your chili peppers into small pieces and add them to a bowl. You can either finely mince them with a knife or use a food processor to speed up the process.

Step 5: Add Salt and Vinegar

Pour salt and vinegar over your chopped chili peppers, making sure that all of the chunks are covered by liquid.

The salt and vinegar will enhance the flavor of your spicy sauce and give it that tangy kick.

Step 6: Let the Sauce Sit for 12 Hours

Cover your bowl with a lid and let it sit out for twelve hours. This is the easiest way to make Sambal Oelek at home without having to create your own ingredients list.

What does Sambal Oelek Taste Like?

Sambal Oelek has a spicy kick to it, so it’s only for people who are able to handle lots of spice in their food.

Even though it’s spicy, this hot sauce has a delicious flavor because the fresh chili peppers are so flavorful.

It can be used in place of regular chili powder in recipes and will give your dish an Asian twist.

Can I Use Fresno Chilies to Substitute Sambal Oelek?

Yes, you can use Fresno chilies to substitute Sambal Oelek. These peppers are similar in flavor and have that same tangy taste that you love. You can use this substitute in any dish that calls for Sambal Oelek.

What is the Best Way to Store Sambal Oelek?

If you aren’t using Sambal Oelek right away, store it in an airtight container and keep it in your refrigerator. This hot sauce should last up to six months when it’s in your refrigerator.

Final Words

There are many different types of Sambal Oelek substitutes that you can use to replace the authentic version of this popular hot sauce.

Each one has a unique taste, but they’re all equally delicious in their own way.

If you want something with a spicy flavor for cooking or as a topping, these are the best substitutes for Sambal Oelek.

I hope that this article has helped you find a new hot sauce to try.

I’m a passionate food blogger on a journey to become a go-to person who can help others prepare delicious foods. I share recipes, food substitutes, and other cooking tips. Read more about my journey...

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