Original article published at TasteAtlas.

This quintessential Southeast Asian condiment is usually made only with spicy chili peppers and salt.

It is occasionally adapted with lime juice, onions, sugar, ginger, shrimp paste, or vinegar. Traditionally prepared in a mortar, it is characterized by its thick consistency and an incredibly strong and sharp flavor.

This original Indonesian creation has gained worldwide acclaim, and store bought varieties are available at numerous Asian food markets and international stores around the world.

Sambal is used in a variety of Asian dishes, usually as a spicy condiment, seasoning, or a topping served alongside meat, seafood, vegetables, or rice.