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Sambal Matah (Balinese Raw Shallot and Lemongrass Relish)—Celebrating Jalapeno Mania!

Sambal Matah (Balinese Raw Shallot and Lemongrass Relish)


2 large shallots, thinly sliced
3 Thai chilies, thinly sliced
3 stalks lemongrass, tough outer leaves removed and white portion only thinly sliced
1 (1/4-inch long) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
4 teaspoons fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
Zest of 1 lime, finely grated
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons coconut oil, heated until it is completely liquid

1. Mix the shallots, chilies, lemongrass, ginger, and fish sauce together in a small bowl.

2. Add the lime juice, salt, and pepper and toss to combine, then let the sambal sit for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

3. Stir in the coconut oil and let the sambal sit for an additional 10 minutes before serving.

*Recipe Notes: The original sambal matah recipe that I learned to make used tiny fiery red Balinese chili peppers. When I went to the 99 Ranch Market near my parent’s house they only had green Thai chilies (Bird’s Eye chilies), so I went for those. You can use green or red Thai chilies with great results. Although I haven’t tried it yet, I think it would also be delicious made with Serrano peppers. The original recipe uses a shrimp paste called terasi. Since I had fish sauce on hand, I substituted that for the shrimp paste. Finally, kaffir lime juice was used in the original recipe, but the market I went to didn’t have any kaffir limes, so I used the zest and juice of a regular lime instead. Still delicious!