5 sambals that you can buy as souvenirs from Indonesia


When you live in Indonesia, you go through a process of ‘sambalization’ where you get used having this spicy condiment with every meal.

Traveling to cities in Indonesia is not complete if you don’t bring some souvenirs home. Each city has its own specialty souvenirs, foods, and other gifts that will ‘validate’ your visit to the city. If dried food, clothes, or key chains are too mainstream to you, maybe you can buy sambal as ‘oleh-oleh’ from these cities in Indonesia.

Sambal Merpati from Makassar, South Sulawesi

If you’re traveling to Makassar, there is a special sambal that you must try: Sambal Merpati or also known as Lombok Kuning. This sambal tastes really spicy, and will add to any meal you have. Starting from Rp10,000 to Rp40,000, Sambal Merpati can be found in many stores in Makassar. Look at the color of this sambal, does it make your stomach growl?

Sambal Roa JuDes from Manado, North Sulawesi

Sambal roa is probably one of the most famous sambals from North Sulawesi, along with sambal dabu-dabu. Unlike other sambals, Sambal Roa is made of shredded grilled roa (halfbeak fish) that is mixed with chilies, shallots, and onions; so it has a very unique flavor. People love to serve Sambal Roa with Bubur Manado (rice congee with vegetables). One of the most famous Sambal Roa brand in Manado is Sambal Roa JuDes, which you can find in many souvenir shops in the province.

Sambal Bu Rudy from Surabaya, East Java

Sambal Bu Rudi has been gaining much recognition for its delicious sambal products. There are three variants of Sambal Bu Rudy: Sambal Bawang (onion sambal), Sambal Peda (mackerel sambal), and Sambal Terasi (shrimp paste sambal). All are spicy and worth to try! If you want to buy in bulk, you can go to Sambal Bu Rudy’s stores at Jalan Dharmahusada 140, Jalan Anjasmoro 45 and Jalan Kupang Indah 31, Surabaya.

Sambal Encim from Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara

Sambal Encim has many variations of sambals you can choose, such as Sambal Plecing (garlic sambal), Sambal Terasi Taliwang, Sambal Hijau (green chili sambal), and Sambal Rumput Laut (seaweed sambal). These sambal are perfect to be combined with any Lombok cuisines such as Pelecing Kangkung (water spinach and sambal), Ayam Taliwang (grilled chicken), and even plain steamed rice. Variants of Sambal Encim can be found in souvenir stores in Lombok.

Sambal Bu Susan from Bali

Souvenir that you can bring from Bali is not limited to Bali Sarong or small sculptures; you can also buy Sambal Bu Susan as souvenirs. Sambal Bu Susan is the first sambal brand in Bali that is packed and marketed as souvenir from the Island of the God. Sambal Bu Susan has several variants that you can choose, such as original Sambal Bawang, Sambal Teri, Sambal Udang, Sambal Pete, and Sambal Terasi. Just like other souvenirs from Bali, you can find this sambal at any souvenir shops across the island.

As souvenirs, these sambal are packed in airtight jar that won’t leak during your trip. Store the sambal bottles in refrigerator and you can use the sambal up to one month. Always check the expired date printed on the bottles to make sure that you get the freshest product possible.

Get ready to get sambalized!