Sambal Matah

Balinese spice ‘dip’ with lemongrass and lime

From Bali with spices

This super straightforward dish contains coconut oil, chilies, lemongrass, limes and the kicker shrimp paste that adds an exquisite salt sour taste to the mix. We serve it with our Salt Baked Fish at Hujan Locale but you can try out this quick recipe and serve with grilled meats, steamed fish or fluffy squares of fried tofu.

This Sambal is also famous at Mama San and Sarong, where I serve it on top of our betel leaves.

Try it with my “Jimbaran Style Grilled Fish” recipe or my “Salt Grilled Snapper”

Will Meyrick





  • 8 pieces shallots
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 3 pieces red birds eye chilli, seeds intact
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried shrimp paste
  • 3 pieces Balinese lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil


Finely chop shallots, lemongrass and chillies.
Combine with dried shrimp paste, Balinese lime juice and heat up coconut oil until smoking and then pour over the sambal.
Use your fingertips to lightly mix together with the oil. Serve immediately.