Sambal matah is a Balinese raw sambal that goes with everything from chicken and grilled fish to the famous Balinese roast suckling pig.






Skill level

Average: 3.7 (10 votes)


  • 4 chicken Marylands, deboned in one piece, with skin on
  • 1½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp canola oil

Raw sambal

  • 1 tsp belacan
  • 2 makrut lime leaves, central vein removed and finely shredded, plus extra to garnish
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, tender central white part only, finely sliced
  • 1 bird’s eye chilli
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ small red onion, minced
  • 1 Roma tomato, deseeded and diced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tsp sugar

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time: 1 hour

  1. Combine the chicken, turmeric, salt and oil in a bowl and mix well. Marinate for at least 1 hour.
  2. For the sambal, wrap the belacan in foil and toast in a dry frying pan over low–medium heat, turning occasionally, for 6-8 minutes or until fragrant. Combine the remaining ingredients together, then crumble in the toasted belacan. Stir well and set aside to rest for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Heat a heavy-based frying pan or chargrill pan over high heat. Grill the chicken, skin–side down for about 5 minutes or until golden and crisp. Turn and cook for another 2 minutes or until cooked through. Rest for a few minutes, then thickly slice and serve with the sambal and extra finely shredded makrut leaves. 


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Danielle Abou Karam.