sambal dabu dabu served

How to Make Sambal Dabu Dabu (Mixed Sambal)

Last Updated on March 26, 2024 by Damian

Welcome to another great sambal recipe! Sambal dabu dabu is a very quick and easy to make sambal that doesn’t require any cooking. It can be made under 10 minutes just before serving your favorite dishes!

To make sambal dabu dabu, simply chop some chillies, tomato and shallots. Add lime juice and salt, mix well and that’s it!

What is sambal dabu dabu?

Originating from the Manado region of North Sulawesi in Indonesia, this sambal is a spicy salad kind of sambal known for its fresh flavor.

The name ‘Dabu Dabu’ roughly translates to ‘mixed’ or ‘crushed’ in the Manado language, which describes its preparation method.

Unlike other sambal types that are cooked, Sambal dabu dabu is a raw, chunky mix of ingredients that pack a great deal of flavor.

served sambal dabu dabu

The traditional recipe calls for the use of bird’s eye chilies, giving it intense heat that is beautifully balanced by the acidity of lime and the sweetness of fresh tomatoes.

This zesty sambal is typically served as a condiment with grilled fish or chicken, enhancing the dishes with its sharp and distinctive flavor.

sambal dabu dabu

Sambal dabu dabu

Sambal dabu dabu! A quick and easy to make sambal that can be brought to the table in under 10 minutes. Chop up some chillies with vegetables and try it out today!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Sambal
Cuisine Indonesian
Servings 170 g
Calories 7 kcal


  • 3 red and green bird's eye chillies
  • 2 shallots
  • 1/2 large tomato
  • lime juice from 1 lime
  • salt to taste


  • Collect the ingredients
  • Chop the ingredients
  • Serve and conserve sambal dabu dabu
Keyword Sambal dabu dabu

Note: the kcal count is based on a single tablespoon serving.

What to consider when choosing the ingredients

When choosing your ingredients, it’s important to look for ones that are fresh and of high quality. The chillies should be bright in color and free of any soft spots or mold.

The shallots should be firm and free of any sprouts, while the tomatoes should be ripe but not overly soft.

If you can’t find bird’s eye chillies, you can substitute them with another type of small, hot chilli (jalapenos?). And if you’re not a fan of shallots, you could use red onion instead.

sambal dabu dabu ingredients

Step 2: Chop the ingredients

Once you’ve got your ingredients, it’s time to chop them up. Wash the chillies and chop them finely, removing the seeds if you want your sambal to be less spicy.

chopped ingredients

Cut the shallots in half and then slice them into thin rings. Remove the seeds from the tomato and chop it finely. Add all the ingredients to a bowl along with the lime juice and salt, and mix well.

Step 3: Serve and conserve sambal dabu dabu

This sambal can be served with all kinds of dishes, from grilled meats to soups and stews. It’s particularly good with seafood dishes, such as grilled prawns or fish.

served sambal dabu dabu

You could also try serving it with steamed vegetables or rice dishes. If you’re not sure what to serve it with, why not try some of these ideas:

To store your this sambal, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate. It should last for a day or two in the fridge.

If you want to keep it for longer, you could try freezing it in small portions. Just be aware that freezing may change the texture slightly, making the sambal a bit watery when defrosted.

I hope you like this sambal! Try out my other ones and please leave a rating!


What does dabu dabu mean? Dabu dabu is a phrase in the Manado dialect of Indonesian that roughly translates to “mixed together”. This refers to the way the ingredients in sambal dabu dabu are combined together to create the finished condiment.

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