A Flavor Explosion in Sambal Penyetan Recipe

A Flavor Explosion in Sambal Penyetan Recipe
Photo: Liputan6.com

Sambal Penyetan is a delightful and fiery Indonesian chili condiment that packs a punch in both flavor and spice. This beloved condiment is the perfect accompaniment to many Indonesian dishes, adding an extra layer of depth and excitement to every bite.

The word Penyetan refers to a dish that involves smashing or flattening the main ingredient, usually with a mortar and pestle. The term penyet itself means “to flatten” or “to press down.”

Sambal Penyetan combines the spicy goodness of sambal with the technique of penyet, resulting in a dish where the main ingredient is smashed or flattened and served with a flavorful chili paste. The dish often involves deep-frying or grilling the main ingredient to achieve a crispy texture before being “penyet” or smashed.

Typically, Sambal Penyetan is associated with dishes like Ayam Penyet (smashed fried chicken), Ikan Penyet (smashed fried fish), or “Tahu Tempe Penyet” (smashed fried tofu and tempeh). The smashing process not only enhances the texture of the dish but also allows the sambal to penetrate and flavor the main ingredient more effectively.

Ayam Geprek

So, in essence, Sambal Penyetan is a delightful combination of a spicy chili paste and the unique texture achieved through the smashing or flattening of the main component of the dish.

Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with the spicy charm of this beloved Indonesian condiment:


  • 20 red bird’s eye chilies
  • 5 large red curly chilies
  • 10 shallots
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp mushroom bouillon
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • Hot used frying oil from chicken


  1. Sauté the bird’s eye chilies and shallots until they become wilted. Then, add the tomatoes and sauté briefly.
  2. Once the sautéed mixture is ready, drain the excess oil. Then, transfer the mixture to a mortar and pestle. Add the curly chilies to the mortar as well.
  3. Add the granulated sugar, salt, and mushroom bouillon to the mixture in the mortar. Start mashing and mixing everything together to form a spicy paste.
  4. Drizzle the used hot frying oil from chicken into the mixture. Continue mashing and stirring until the sauce is well combined.
  5. Before serving, squeeze a bit of lime juice into the sauce, giving it a tangy twist.


Serve this sauce alongside fried chicken, tofu, or tempe, and you’re in for a delightful and flavorful feast that captures the essence of Indonesian culinary culture. Enjoy the taste of Indonesia’s vibrant and spicy cuisine, one bite at a time!