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"Rotational" Cucumber Sambal

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This cucumber sambal recipe will be a great condiment for your holiday celebration whether it's Christmas, Thanksgiving or Kwanzaa.

cucumber sambal condiment for meats and seafood #condiment #sauce #relish

It pairs well with your favorite grilled fish or chicken. I love the refreshing element the cucumber base provides to this relish as well as the mild heat from the serrano chiles.

The recipe was taken from Chef Marcus Samuelsson's cookbook which explores the foods and flavors of Africa. It's not everyday, but great to keep in your occasional rotation.



  • Cucumber
  • Tamari
  • Shallots
  • Onion
  • Sugar
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Serrano Chilis
  • Fresh Ginger
  • Lime
  • Fresh Mint

What is a Sambal you ask?

Sambal is traditionally a hot and spicy chili-based all-purpose condiment found in many Asian and African countries. It's highly common in Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia and Indonesia where it's more of a saucy paste in consistency/texture. Perhaps you've seen or tried Sambal Oleek which is a bright red chili garlic sauce/paste.


Mix all the ingredients except the cucumbers in a mixing bowl. Add the cucumbers and toss. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least an hour.

cucumber sambal condiment for meats and seafood #condiment #sauce #relish


Sambal is eaten with rice or eggs in China, but cucumber sambal works well with grilled meats, fish, and chicken pretty much cooked anyway. However, I've used on both grilled and fried chicken sandwiches and future use will include it as a condiment to a fancy hot dog recipe.

The cucumbers are a great contrast as they play the cooling, refreshing role. The citrus from the lime adds some zest, while the mint adds a more cooling effect.

Africans favor more of a thick relish type consistency which is represented in this cucumber sambal recipe. Both the chilies and other primary ingredients are all chopped and/or diced vs. ground.

Serrano chilis are pretty hot on a heat scale. If you prefer milder sambal remove the seed and veins.


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cucumber sambal condiment for meats and seafood #condiment #sauce #relish

Cucumber Sambal

Sambal is traditionally a hot and spicy chili based all-purpose condiment found in many Asian and African countries. In this version cucumber is used as the base. 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: African
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Marwin Brown


  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce tamari for gluten free
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 small shallot finely chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 serrano chile—seeds and ribs removed chile finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 1 large cucumber—peeled halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced


  • In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, sugar, shallot, chile, ginger, lime juice and mint and mix well. Add the cucumber and toss well. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.
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