Sambal Ijo: Green Sambal (Vegan)

A sambal ijo (green sambal) recipe that’s a staple of Padang cuisine, made using young green chilies. Sambal ijo is less spicy than red sambals and is vegan.

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Nunuk Sri Rahayu
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.

Sambal ijo, literally “green sambal”, is also known as sambal lado mudo, or “young chilli sambal”. This sambal, as its names suggest, is made from young green chillies, and is an important part of Padang cuisine’s repertoire. Every Padang restaurant has it, and will serve it for free to complete your meal.

Compared to other types of sambals, sambal ijo is less spicy, making it popular even with people who don’t really eat spicy food. 

This recipe is simple to make and is a great companion not only for Padang food, but also for other dishes. Always enjoy it with plenty of steamed rice and some boiled vegetables to satisfy your hunger!


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Sambal Ijo: Green Sambal (Vegan)

Sambal Ijo: Green Sambal (Vegan)

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 5 1x
  • Category: Sauces & Sambals
  • Method: Sauté
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Vegan


A delicious green sambal that’s a staple of Padang cuisine, made using young green chillies. Sambal ijo is less spicy than red sambals and is vegan, and is suitable for all palates.


  • 5 big green chillies, chopped
  • 10 curly green chillies, chopped
  • 10 green bird’s eye chillies
  • 5 shallots, peeled, chopped
  • 3 small green tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tbsp lime juice from one small lime
  • Salt to taste
  • 0.5 tsp vegetable stock cube
  • 150 ml vegetable oil

Sambal Ijo ingredients


  1. Boil all the chillies, tomatoes and shallots in 1 cup of water for 7 minutes, then strain and let it cool.

    Sambal Ijo: boil all the ingredients

  2. Blend the boiled ingredients using a food processor or, using a mortar and pestle, pound into a rough paste.
  3. Transfer the paste to a saucepan, add lime juice, kaffir lime leaves, salt, vegetable stock and oil.

    Sambal Ijo: saute the blended ingredients

  4. Saute on a medium low fire for about 15-20 minutes until the liquid has evaporated and the sambal is soft and nicely coated with the oil.
  5. Transfer to a small bowl and serve with lalapan (plain steamed or boiled vegetables).


  • Leftover sambal Ijo makes for an excellent stir-fry sauce, especially for meat or tofu and tempeh.

Keywords: Spicy, Chili

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