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If you’re a fan of exotic and spicy food, you would love sambal oelek but be warned, the primary ingredient of sambal oelek is fresh chili, so you must have a solid stomach to be able to enjoy sambal. But is sambal oelek vegan? Can vegetarians eat sambal oelek?
Yes, sambal oelek is vegan-friendly, and it’s made with vegan-friendly ingredients, such as chili and salt. Sambal oelek also consists of acetic acid, garlic, onion, tomato, lemon, and ginger to give it an ultimate spicy ting.
It’s worth noting that sambal oelek is one of the best condiments for spicy foods. There’s also a store-bought version of sambal; however, it doesn’t keep up with the taste and satisfaction of homemade sambal oelek.
Think of oelek as an Indonesian relish!
What Is Sambal Oelek?
Sambal oelek is a spicy condiment made from fresh chili and salt, whose roots are in Malaysian and Indonesian cuisines.
It is just not one recipe though, there are over 300 kinds of sambals, and they all distinguish themselves in a traditionally prepared way. The word oelek means the original pestle dialect.
Traditionally, sambal oelek would be prepared fresh by squashing the ingredients in a mortar. This is a fantastic way to release and mix the flavors when the refreshed version is prepared.
By blending the cooked ingredients into a smooth paste, you do not only get the most out of the sambal oelek, but it will also last longer than if you bought it at a store.
What Is Sambal Oelek Made Of?
Sambal oelek is traditionally made from fresh chilis and salt. You can also add a few more ingredients in your own version to give it a more comprehensive flavor range while maintaining the spice level. Garlic and ginger are highly required for this recipe.
Ginger especially helps to add some depth in the flavor and obtain that southeastern flavor. You can add it to your smoked chicken thighs as well, and after you have made yours, you will not need barbecue sauce for your chicken again.
What Is Sambal Oelek Used For?
Sambal oelek is excellent in marinades and salads dressings, or it can add heat and complexity to fruity mango salsa. You can also add a dollop of sambal oelek to stir-fries, and it’s also a good condiment for noodles, grilled meat, tofu, and even burgers and pizzas.
Is Sambal Oelek Huy Fong Vegan?
Yes, sambal oelek is pure vegan. It is made from fiery red chilies, vinegar, and salt. This paste has a pure chili flavor that brings heat and excitement to any dish. Unlike other chili pastes, the unique blend doesn’t need additional flavor like garlic or other spices to make it pop.
The fresh, quality chilies give this paste all the flavors and versatility it needs. One look at these chili pastes, and you can see the spice and zest brought by the numerous chili seeds and bits.
Sriracha vs Sambal Oelek
Sriracha is a chili sauce found in tons in supermarkets and restaurants. It has become a favorite household among those who enjoy a little heat with their favorite eats.
Most sriracha brands are vegan! Just like sambal oelek. Sriracha is made by combining sun-ripened chilis with sugar, salt, garlic, vinegar, and other vegan ingredients.
Sriracha and sambal oelek seem alike in both ingredients and versatility, but the difference is in the taste. While sriracha tends to be sweeter with garlic undertones, sambal oelek relies on the chili pepper flavor itself along with a touch of more vinegar.
Conclusion: Is Sambal Oelek Vegan?
If you’re a fan of hot and spicy dishes, you should consider trying out sambal oelek or sriracha if you need a sweeter flavor with garlic undertones. The good thing is that both both non vegans and vegetarians can eat sambal oelek.
Still, if you’re looking for an additive to thicken up the dish, sambal oelek is a much better fit. Many flavors seem close but are very different, but in this case, sambal oelek and sriracha have more in common than most.