Sambal ebi

How to Make Sambal Ebi (Dried Shrimp Sambal)

Last Updated on March 26, 2024 by Damian

Welcome to another great sambal recipe! Sambal ebi is a dried shrimp sambal, really nice to serve with rice dishes and conserved for a long time.

To make sambal ebi, simply soak the dried shrimp in hot water, fry some ground ingredients and add the shrimps. Fry some more and serve or conserve!

What is sambal ebi?

Sambal ebi is a mix of ground chillies, shallots and garlic combined with various spices and fried before adding dried shrimps. It originates from Indonesia and is a great spicy additive to recipes.

zoomed sambal ebi

I added this sambal to my nasi kandar recipe but it can be widely used in any recipe you’d like, get creative! Let’s see how to make sambal ebi:

Disclosure: please note that some of the links below may contain affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase.

Step 1: Collect the ingredients

sambal ebi

Sambal ebi

Dried shrimp sambal, a great addition to recipes where you want an extra kick of spice!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Soaking time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Spicy additive
Cuisine Indonesian


  • Food processor


  • 100 g dried shrimps
  • 1 large red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 10 red chili peppers
  • 5 bird eye chillies (cabe rawit)
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 100 ml chicken broth


  • 5 candlenuts
  • 1 disc of ginger
  • 5 kaffir leaves
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon grass powder (or fresh)
  • 2 tsp galangal powder


  • Collect the ingredients
  • Soak the shrimps and grind the ingredients
  • Fry the spice paste
  • Serve and conserve
Keyword Sambal ebi

What to consider when choosing the ingredients

Like any other sambal the freedom to play with ingredients is limited if you want a specifice sambal. You will likely end up with another variation of sambal if you do change a lot.

Of course you can play with the spice level by altering the amount of chillies, the spice level at this point is nice but not super spicy. Keep the seeds if you want a flaming hot sambal!

Play around with the spices as you wish, be sure to use traditional spices for the best tasting sambals, in my opinion. I really enjoy the freshness of the ginger, kaffir leaves and lemons combined with the fishy flavors of the shrimps.

sambal ebi ingredients

Let’s go to the next step on how to make sambal ebi!

Step 2: Soak the shrimps and grind the ingredients

Start of by soaking the shrimps in hot water for 10 minutes and refresh the water when it’s cooled down. Repeat for 2 or 3 times. In the meantime start chopping the garlic, onion and chillies roughly.

If you wish to remove the seeds from the chillies, roll them in between your hands and fingers. This will break down the seeds inside making the fall out when chopping. Chop them roughly and add to a drainer, wash with lots of water to flush out the seeds. Be careful not to inhale sharp aromas coming from the chillies!

Chopped ingredients

Take the shrimps and chop or grind them roughly to a consistency you’d like. I simply kept them intact for this variation.

Add the chopped ingredients to a food processor, I personally use a good quality product as I use it a lot in my cooking. If you don’t have one I’d highly recommend getting a good quality one like mine. Click here to order it!

grinding ingredients
ground ingredients

Step 3: Fry the sambal ebi

Grind into a paste and place a frying pan with some (sunflower) oil on medium heat. Once hot add the spice paste and the spices (except the shrimps and the chicken broth).

adding spices to ground ingredients
frying spice paste

Fry it for a few minutes and add the shrimps.

addings shrimps to spice paste
fried shrimp and spice paste

Again, fry for a minute and add the chicken broth.

frying sambal ebi
fried sambal ebi

Leave to simmer and let the moist content in the pan evaporate and that’s it! Quite and easy sambal and very delicious. Let the sambal cool down, remove the kaffir leaves and ginger and serve and conserve!

Step 4: Serve and conserve sambal ebi

Directly serve while hot or cold, enjoy with some cheese, main dish, sandwich, whatever! Get creative. Otherwise use a properly cleaned (use boiling water) container and add the cooled down sambal ebi. Only remove servings with a clean spoon and keep the container airtight and refrigerated for the longest conservation times!

Like it said I served with nasi kandar and this worked out great to combine with various meats and fish! Add it to any main course you want, I can recommend the following:

If you want to know more on how to make different sambals, definitely check these out:

I hope you liked this recipe, leave a rating if you’ve made it! Enjoy.

served sambal ebi

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