Paleo Sambal Oelek

I adapted a recipe I found online for this Paleo Sambal Oelek that I recently used in a Spicy Beef that I made. The original recipe made gobs of this and I really didn’t want a bunch sitting in my refrigerator ~ possibly spoiling if I didn’t use it right away.

This Sambal Oelek has a spicy sweet flavor to it.  If you want it more spicy, reduce the maple sugar by 1 tablespoon and/or you can add another pepper. Either way will work.

First, here are the ingredients you’ll be needing (salt not shown) ~

Ingredients for Paleo Sambal Oelek
Ingredients for Paleo Sambal Oelek


  • 1 Red Fresco Pepper (or any spicy pepper of your choosing) seeds removed
  • 4 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine
  • 1 – 2 stalks lemongrass (I actually used only 1 ~ the white part only), sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple sugar
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest, chopped


  1. In a mortar and pestle, add the pepper, garlic, ginger and the lemon grass then grind/crush it as fine as you can. (You can also use a blender instead but I found this more fun.)
  2. Add the vinegar to the mortar and pestle and mix everything together.
  3. In a small saucepan, add the ground mixture and bring this to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to a simmer then add the maple syrup to the saucepan and stir everything together for a few minutes.
  5. Add the salt and the lime zest then stir to combine.
  6. Remove from the stovetop and add to whatever dish you’re making.

Remember ~ this has a sweet ‘n spicy flavor to it. Feel free to make it less sweet and more spicy or vice versa. It took me a long time but I can look at a recipe now and know whether I need to adjust it or not (I was a slow learner).

Next ~ enjoy!  I added this to a Paleo Spicy Beef dish I made and it came out great.

Paleo Sambal Oelek
Paleo Sambal Oelek

For more paleo recipes, click here.

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