Jun 032015

Tomato Serrano Sambal

This is a great make-ahead condiment to spread on grilled meats or poultry, or stir into pasta or rice. Full of spicy goodness a little goes a long way. Combine it with a little olive oil and then mix into some ramen or rice; toss in your favorite vegetables. Or, spread some of this south-Asian delight on your next grilled chicken breast or in place of catsup on that all-American burger you just slid onto a bun. Presto! A whole new meal.

Chili and Tomato Sambal

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: mincing, seeding, measuring, stir-frying

Chili Sambal

Tomato Serrano Sambal


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 shallots, minced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10-15 Serrano chile peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. In a small sauce pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil about 2 minutes, until it begins to smoke.
  2. Add the garlic and shallots and stir fry until lightly browned.
  3. Add the chiles and stir fry until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the water, tomato paste, molasses, salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to a boil.
  6. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
  7. Serve warm or cold.

Will keep for about a week refrigerated in a tightly sealed glass jar.



Very excitable and prone to fits of glee, Christine cooks on a vintage 1950 General Electric double-oven stove, does not have a dishwasher unless you count the husband, and is guilty of posting cat cuteness on the interwebs. She photographs and blogs about food and other joyful topics from her home in Vermont.

Co-Author of Garden Candy Basics

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