Sambal Pencok: Sundanese Spicy Sambal with Long Beans

Recipe for a potent raw Sundanese sambal made of chillies, lesser galangal, and garlic, topped with fresh long beans that add a crunch.

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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 pencok is a Sundanese sambal made of raw ingredients, except for roasted shrimp paste. One word to describe this sambal is: potent! It’s strong, spicy and intense. The trio of chilli, garlic, and lesser galangal (which are also the ingredients for sambal cibiuk) is just like ammunition that’s ready to explode, in a delicious way. The Sundanese people are real experts in tripling the power of chillies. 

In addition to being powerful, this sambal is also flavourful. Within the massive heat, each ingredient oozes its own delightful flavour. Every single one has a strong and dominant character. Each ingredient stands out and each flavour is distinguishable. Mixed together, they turn out a solid, intense relish, which is a pleasant surprise. Instead of breaking apart, the flavours harmonize in a strong way, unlike a bad movie where A-list superstars put together end up competing with each other and ruining the whole film. The addition of fresh long beans helps tone the flavour too, making it refreshing and crunchy.

Sambal pencok makes for a great accompaniment to rice and fried dishes such as fried chicken, empal, bakwan jagung, etc. The fresh, raw spices and the heat will neutralize the oily food, making it more palatable. To ensure freshness, prepare it at the last minute, just before it’s served.

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Sambal Pencok: Sundanese Spicy Sambal with String Beans

Sambal Pencok: Sundanese Spicy Sambal with Long Beans

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Sauces & Sambals
  • Method: Mixing
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Halal


Sambal pencok is a super-spicy, super-potent raw Sundanese sambal made of chillies, lesser galangal, and garlic, topped with fresh long beans that add a crunchiness to the dish.


  • 5 bird’s eye chillies
  • 1 big red chilli, chopped
  • 2 small cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
  • 2 cm lesser galangal, peeled, chopped
  • 0.5 tsp roasted shrimp paste
  • Salt to taste
  • A dash of sugar (optional)
  • 3 long beans, cut to small pieces

Sambal Pencok ingredients


  1. Using a mortar and pestle, pound into a coarse paste: bird’s eye chillies, red chilli, garlic, lesser galangal, roasted shrimp paste, salt and sugar. 
  2. Add the long beans and gently press against the chilli paste.
  3. Mix everything together. 
  4. Sambal pencok is ready to serve.


  • Always choose the freshest ingredients for the best result.

Keywords: Quick & Easy, Spicy, Shrimp paste

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