sambal petis

Sambal Petis: Black Shrimp Paste Sambal

Last Updated on July 9, 2024 by Damian

Welcome to another kitchen adventure! Today, I’ll be making a special recipe called Sambal Petis. If you love the deep, rich taste of Sambal Terasi, you’re going to enjoy Sambal Petis.

It’s a mix of hot chillies and a unique ingredient called black shrimp paste, similar to terasi. This recipe is simple but full of flavor. Let’s start this tasty journey together!

To make sambal petis, simply chop and grind chillies, garlic and onion. Fry the ground paste in some oil and add petis at the end, that’s it!

What is Sambal Petis?

Sambal Petis is a spicy sauce from Indonesia. It combines the heat from chillies with a special ingredient called petis, which is a black shrimp paste. This mix gives the sauce a strong, savory taste.

Sambal Petis is great for adding a kick to your meals. It can turn a simple dish into something exciting. Ready to make it? Let’s go!

Step 1: Collect the ingredients

sambal petis

Sambal petis

Sambal Petis! This amazing recipe guides you how to make the best umami rich sambal there is! The black shrimp paste gives it a truly unique flavor, adopted from Indonesian cuisine.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Sambal
Cuisine Indonesian
Servings 2 servings
Calories 50 kcal


  • Food processor


  • 2 large (green) chillies ~10cm
  • 4 bird's eye chillies
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp petis (black shrimp paste)
  • a splash of water
  • salt to taste


  • Collect the ingredients
  • Chop and grind the ingredients
  • Fry sambal petis
  • Serve and conserve sambal petis
Keyword Sambal petis

Note: The given kcal count is calculated using an online tool and might deviate from the actual kcal in your specific serving.

What to consider when choosing the ingredients

Large green chillies & bird’s eye chillies: These two types of chilies give our sambal its spicy taste, ranging from a mild warmth to a fiery kick. If you prefer less spice, you can try using milder peppers like banana peppers or bell peppers for a gentler flavor.

Red onion & garlic cloves: These ingredients provide the base flavors, adding sweetness and pungency that enhance the complexity of our sambal. Shallots are a good alternative, adding their mild, sweet tones to the mix.

Petis (black shrimp paste): This ingredient is crucial for Sambal Petis, giving it a rich, umami-packed essence that is distinctly Indonesian. If you can’t find petis, you can try using miso or anchovy paste for a similar depth of flavor, each adding its unique touch.

Salt: The final ingredient, salt, brings all these flavors together, enhancing and balancing the overall taste. It may be simple, but it is essential.

sambal petis ingredients

Step 2: Chop and grind the ingredients

First, cut the chillies, red onion, and garlic into big pieces. Your food processor should do the work here, just help it out a little by reducing the size of the ingredients.

grinding ingredients

Add them to a food processor, grind the ingredients into a paste. If you’re looking to get a food processor, I’ve written an article on the best one to get under 100 USD.

Step 3: Fry Sambal Petis

Put a pan on medium heat and add some (sunflower) oil. When it’s hot, add your ground ingredients. Stir them around until they start to get soft. Then, add your black shrimp paste and a bit of water to help the infusion process.

fried ingredients
adding petis

Keep stirring to make sure everything mixes well together. You’ll see it turn into a rich, spicy sauce. Reduce the moist content to a thick sauce.

simmering ingredients
frying sambal petis

Step 4: Serve and conserve sambal petis

Now, your Sambal Petis is ready to eat! Serve it warm with anything you like or use it as a dipping sauce. It will make your food taste even better. I recommend the following recipes to serve with sambal petis:

sambal petis served

If you have some left over, just keep it in a tight container in the fridge for a few days. Always check for spoilage before you eat leftovers!

I hope you’ve liked this sambal recipe and if you did, please let me know what you think and leave a rating! Consider trying out my other sambal recipes:

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