Nunuk’s Sambal Dabu-Dabu Lilang: Manado Chopped Chilli & Lime Sambal (Vegan)

Sambal dabu-dabu is a popular chopped chilli sambal from Manado. This version incorporates lime zest and green tomatoes for extra freshness, complementing the dark, full flavour of coconut oil.

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Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk hails from Solo, the historic royal capital and cultural centre of Java, Indonesia. She has been cooking since the age of 12, and also performs and teaches traditional Javanese dance. Her dream is to eventually write her own Indonesian cookbook.

As mentioned by Deyana in her previous Sambal Dabu-Dabu Lilang post, we accidentally made the same sambal on the very same morning. I wanted to surprise Deyana by not informing her in advance what I was going to make, but it turned out we both made the same sambal as a sauce for our main dish that day. We laughed and decided to publish both recipes anyway. The more the merrier!

It’s great to have a different version of the recipe, as it proves that cooking is a fun and flexible thing. There are many different ways of making the same dish, based on one’s experience and preferences.

Deyana has covered in detail about sambal dabu-dabu, so I won’t explain it further. My version is more or less the same as Deyana’s, but it’s spicier. MY sambal spares no one!

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In my recipe, only bird eye’s chillies (red and green) are used, and these are generally much spicier than regular big chillies. I also added green tomatoes and lime zest for added freshness; green tomato has an interesting firm, crunchy texture, and a tanginess that helps to reduce the spiciness. Lime zest, meanwhile, gives a refreshing citrusy flavour, suitable for seafood dishes. 

That day, I had a great lunch consisting of grilled fish with sambal dabu-dabu. It was amazing, and we’ll share the grilled fish recipe soon. Don’t forget to check Cook Me Indonesian regularly so you won’t miss it!

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Nunuk’s Sambal Dabu-Dabu Lilang: Manado Chopped Chilli & Lime Sambal (Vegan)

Nunuk’s Sambal Dabu-Dabu Lilang: Manado Chopped Chilli & Lime Sambal (Vegan)

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Sauces & Sambals
  • Method: Smoking
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Sambal dabu-dabu is a popular chopped chilli sambal from Manado. This version incorporates lime zest and green tomatoes for extra freshness, complementing the dark, full flavour of coconut oil.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 red tomato, deseeded, diced
  • 1 green tomato, quartered, chopped
  • 4 red bird’s eye chillies, sliced
  • 4 green bird’s eye chillies, sliced
  • 2 shallots, peeled, thinly sliced
  • Lime zest from half a lime, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 0.5 tsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Put all the ingredients except the coconut oil in a bowl, mix together thoroughly.
  2. Heat the coconut oil until it smokes, around 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the hot coconut oil in the sambal mix, stir evenly.
  4. Serve the sambal immediately.

    The sambal is ready


Notes

  • Coconut oil gives a distinctive flavour to the sambal, but can be substituted with vegetable oil if unavailable.

Keywords: Quick and easy, common ingredients, spicy, green tomatoes, coconut oil

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