sambal sarden

Sambal Sarden: Amazing Sardine Sambal

Welcome to another great sambal recipe! Sambal sarden is a delicious and spicy condiment that uses sardines as its main ingredient. This recipe is perfect for those looking to add a flavorful kick to their meals.

To make sambal sarden, simply chop and grind some chillies, garlic and shallot together with spices. Fry the spice paste, add sardines and that’s it!

What is sambal sarden?

Sambal sarden originated in Indonesia, where it is commonly used to enhance the flavors of various dishes. This sambal is made using fresh or canned sardines. The result is a savory and slightly spicy condiment that pairs well with rice, noodles, or grilled meats.

Step 1: Collect the ingredients

sambal sarden

Sambal sarden

Sardine sambal! This tasty sambal is definitely for you if you love sardines like I do. It's super simple and can be made using basic ingredients, enjoy!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Sambal
Cuisine Indonesian
Servings 2
Calories 180 kcal


  • Mortar and pestle or foodprocessor


  • 90 g canned sardines
  • 2 large red chillies
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • salt to taste


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

Note: The given kcal count is based on an online calculator and might deviate from your caloric content.

What to consider when choosing ingredients

  • Sardines: Fresh sardines are ideal, but canned sardines work well too. Ensure they are well-drained before use.
  • Chillies: Large red chillies provide a moderate heat level. For a spicier sambal, consider using smaller, hotter chillies.
  • Garlic and Shallots: Fresh garlic and shallots contribute to the best flavor. Avoid pre-minced garlic as it lacks intensity.
  • Kaffir Lime Leaves: These add a distinct aroma. If you can’t find fresh leaves, dried ones can be used as an alternative.
  • Sunflower Oil: This oil has a high smoke point, making it suitable for frying the spice paste without burning.
sambal sarden ingredients

Step 2: Chop and grind the ingredients

Chop the washed red chillies, shallot, and garlic finely. Using a mortar and pestle, grind these chopped ingredients and the salt and pepper into a smooth paste. The dried spices help with grinding the other ingredients. You can also use a food processor instead if you wish, this will speed up the process a bit but is less authentic.

grinding ingredients in mortar and pestle
ground ingredients in mortar and pestle

Step 3: Fry sambal sarden

Heat some sunflower oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the spice paste, kaffir lime leaves and fry for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, add the sardines and continue frying for another 5 minutes.

frying ground spices
adding sardines to frying pan

That’s it! This sambal is very easy to make and not very spicy so enjoy!

fried sambal sarden in pan

Step 4: Serve and conserve sambal sarden

Serve the sambal warm as a side dish or dipping paste. It can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a few days. Always check your sambal for spoilage before eating! I recommend serving this sambal with the following dishes:

sambal sarden served

I hope you’ve enjoyed this wonderful sambal as much as I do! Let me know what you think in the comments below and please leave a rating!

Consider trying out some of my other sambals:

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