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Authentic Recipe of Sambal Bawang. Savory and Refreshing Indonesian Traditional Spicy Onion Sauce from Java.

This authentic and traditional recipe of the Indonesian spicy onion sauce (Sambal Bawang) is locally curated by native housewives and cooks from all around the country.

Things To Know About Sambal Bawang Recipe.

Indonesians are quite popular worldwide for their spicy cuisine. One type of condiment, in particular, stands out from the others. Sambal is an Indonesian chili sauce, usually consisting of chili peppers, oils, and other regional ingredients. Sambal is arguably the most variational Indonesian traditional food in existence, with every region in Indonesia having its variant of Sambal.

Sambal was invented during the colonization of Indonesia, during which the sambal was not as popular as it is today. The exact origin of sambal is unknown, but it was due to the Portuguese and Dutch bringing the plant to Indonesia (Dutch East Indies back then) that sambal started to grow and spread throughout the country.

This variant of sambal, the sambal bawang is popular in Java and is one of the simpler variants of sambal. It used garlic and/or shallot as its secondary ingredients to complement the spiciness of the peppers.

This variant can be served as is (raw, known as Sambal Bawang Mentah) or fried (known as Sambal Bawang Goreng).

Authentic Recipe of Sambal Bawang. Savory and Refreshing Indonesian Traditional Spicy Onion Sauce from Java.

Local Recipe Name with Local Characters: Sambal Bawang
User submitted Recipe
5 from 1 vote

— General Atributes of This Recipe:

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Main Ingredient Group Vegetable based Recipes


Servings 1 Portion
Calories / Serving 1781 kcal


  • 125 Grams (4.41 oz) Red Bird’s Eye Chili Pepper
  • 125 Grams (4.41 oz) Shallot Onion
  • 200 mL (6.76 floz) Vegetable Oil
  • ½ Tbsp Salt
  • ¼ Tbsp White Sugar – Regular Sugar – Granulated Sugar
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  • Into a frying pan, heat up the cooking oil
  • While waiting for the oil to come up to temperature, prepare the peppers and shallots.
  • Remove the stem of the chili peppers
  • Roughly chop the shallots into halves
  • Fry the peppers and shallots until wilted and fragrant, remove and drain the excess oil.
  • Using a mortar and pestle, roughly grind the chili peppers and shallot into a chunky paste
  • Add salt and sugar to taste.
  • Lastly, fry the chili-onion paste for a few minutes until fragrant and the sambal is ready to be served.

— Specific Atributes of This Recipe:


Calories: 1781kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 5gFat: 185gSaturated Fat: 28gPolyunsaturated Fat: 106gMonounsaturated Fat: 42gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 3515mgPotassium: 821mgFiber: 6gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 1195IUVitamin C: 190mgCalcium: 66mgIron: 3mg
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Cooking tip for making Sambal Bawang

When frying the ingredients, use medium heat and make sure the oil is hot enough.

What to serve with Sambal Bawang?

This sambal is best served together with warm white rice and your protein of choice.

Variations of Sambal Bawang

You can use either shallot or garlic for this recipe.

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