Ever since I moved away from California, it has been rather tricky to hunt down Indonesian chili sauce. There are a total of three Asian markets in my city, but none have my beloved chili sauce, so it is time to make the home made version. This sambal botol - Indonesian bottled chili sauce recipe produces sauce that tastes very similar to sambal jap jempol, so if you are a fan, be sure to give this a try :)
How spicy can it get?
Obviously you can control how spicy you want your chili sauce to be. For novice, and especially if you buy Thai dried red chilies instead of Chinese ones, start with smaller quantity. It would be a safer bet if you try something in between 10-15 gram for your first trial. If you love crazy spicy Indonesian version, you can always add up to 100 gram! Just please don’t do it if this is your first run, or you may end up with burnt stomach.
How long can it last?
This chili sauce can last quite a while if stored in fridge. Obviously if you can divide into several sterilized glass jars instead of just one, the unopened ones can last so much longer. I have had some bottles that taste super fresh even after 3 months sitting in the fridge! Once open though, it is best if consumed within 1 month.
Sambal Botol - Indonesian Bottled Chili Sauce
- 4 (~ 400 gram) tomato
- 15-100 gram dried red chilies, seeded and soaked in hot water until soft
- 2 bulb (~ 100 gram) garlic, peeled
- 1 cup water, divided
- 80-100 gram (~ 1/2 cup) sugar, or to taste
- 1 1/2 tablespoon corn starch
- 4 tablespoon soy sauce
- 3 tablespoon fish sauce (*)
- Boil a pot of water. Make a thin crosscut at the bottom of each tomato, then blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Drain and peel the skin of tomatoes.
- Puree peeled tomatoes, softened chilies, garlic, and 1/2 cup of water in a blender (or food processor) until smooth and transfer into a sauce pot.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the sauce pot and stir really well.
- Turn on the heat to medium-high and cook until boiling. Then, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes until thick, stirring frequently. Adjust taste if needed.
- Store the chili sauce in sterilized glass jars. It should be fresh for up to 2 months. (**)
- (*) Or salt, if you want a fully vegetarian version.
- (**) Most of the time, they can last for up to 3-4 months, but I just want to be conservative here :)