Sambal Tomat

A spicy and flavourful condiment that is great alongside rice, noodles and many other Asian dishes.

A small bowl of red chili condiment surrounded by various vegetables.

Sambal may not be all that well known over here in North America, but this condiment is extremely popular in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and more. There are many different variations on sambal and a number of weeks ago I shared Sambal Oelek. That version of sambal is easily the most popular version here in Canada and I have bought it many times in local grocery stores.

Very simple to make, sambal oelek highlights red chili peppers by pounding them in a mortar and pestle. Today, I want to share another version, called sambal tomat. This type of sambal is both, more complicated, and has more ingredients.

A bowl of chili paste surrounded by vegetables.

What Is Sambal Tomat?

Sambal tomat, as the name would suggest, has tomatoes. there are a handful of ingredients, including:

  • Cherry or Campari Tomatoes – Make sure that they are fully ripe and nice and red.
  • Red Chili Peppers – These chili peppers provide some nice heat to this sambal.
  • Shallots – Providing plenty of depth to the sambal, shallots have a flavour that is like a combination of onions and garlic.
  • Garlic – Sambal typically has plenty of garlic. You can either use whole cloves or a jar of minced garlic.
  • Lime juice – The tang that comes from the lime
  • Brown Sugar – Just a little bit of sugar to provide a slight bit of sweetness to this condiment.
  • Salt – You could also use fish sauce instead of the salt.
  • Oil – this is used as the paste is cooked in a wok or skillet.
Sautéing ingredients in a wok.

Step One: Make The Paste

The first step to making sambal tomat, is to take all the ingredients, except for the oil, and turn it into a paste. I pulse all the ingredients in a food processor to get an even, paste like consistency. It is not necessary to have it fully pureed, just broken down fairly fine.

Close up picture of chili pepper in wok.

Step Two: Saute

Heat the oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat. Add the processed ingredient paste to the wok and saute. Make sure to stir often, so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the wok.

A wok frying a chili paste.

How Long To Sauté Chili Paste

Cook the mixture in a stir fry pan or skillet for close to 30 minutes. This draws all the flavors together and creates a wonderful sweet heat in the sambal. Be careful it does not stick to the bottom of the pan, so it will be necessary to stir it often.

What To Serve With Sambal?

Sambal tomat is a condiment that has a deep robust flavour. It is great with many different rice and noodle dishes. A few of my favourite dishes to spoon a little bit of this sambal onto are, Vegetable Chow Mein, Sweet Chili Thai Noodles, Chili Garlic Baby Bok Choy, and Glass Noodles With Pork.

How To Store Condiment

Once the Sambal tomat has cooled to room temperature, store them in a small canning jar or plastic container with lid. Place in the fridge for up to one week.

More Condiment Recipes

I love to make condiments. Whether it is a sauce, dressing or paste, it is fun getting creative and trying some new things to add to the dishes you cook!

  • Sambal Oelek – A base version of sambal with chili peppers and lime. So good!
  • Asian Dipping Sauce – This sauce is good with so many things – lettuce wraps, noodle dishes, rice and so much more.
  • Thai Peanut Sauce – Our favourite sauce for both cold spring rolls and satay skewers.
  • Thai Green Curry Paste – Use this paste for green curry chicken, shrimp and others.
  • Sweet Chili Sauce – While easy to find at your local supermarket, this homemade version of dipping sauce is so good and amazing with spring rolls and more.
  • Asian Style Pickled Green Chilies – I used to get this at a local Hakka restaurant and made my own version of this spicy condiment.

Sambal Tomat

5 from 1 vote
Recipe for how to make sambal tomat a Javanese condiment from Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore! Chili peppers, tomatoes, shallots, garlic.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 3 chili peppers
  • 2 shallots , peeled
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tbsp oil


  • Add all ingredients except the oil to a food processor. Pulse until the vegetables are finely chopped.
  • Heat oil in a stir fry pan or skillet on medium heat.
  • Add the sambal mixture and cook for 20-30 minutes stirring often. The mixture will begin to caramelize and will deepen red in color. If desired, you can add some water with you prefer a thinner consistency.
  • Remove from heat and store in the fridge for up to a week.


Per serving:

Calories: 55kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 0.5gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 0.3gSodium: 4mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 4g

Nutrition Disclaimer


A small bowl of red chili condiment surrounded by various vegetables.

Did you try this recipe?

Leave a comment and let me know how it turned out. Or, take a picture to share on Instagram and tag me @theblackpeppercorn.

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Recipe Rating

1 comment

  • 5 stars
    I love pastes like this!! This one is making me drool for sure. 🙂

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