Trader Joe’s Sambal Matah Reviews

(116 customer reviews)

Indonesian Salsa with Peppers, Lemongrass, Garlic, and Shallots.

116 reviews for Trader Joe’s Sambal Matah Reviews

  1. Sam

    This is a delicious spread/dip – Trader Joe’s refers to it as salsa, but it’s really more of a spread in my opinion. That said, it’s super tasty! It has a nice kick to it that sets it apart from most spreads, which tend to be more mild.

  2. Robin

    Oh my WORD- I cannot get enough of this stuff. The label doesn’t lie- after you taste it you will be looking for stuff to use it with. I normally don’t do spicy things, but I find myself eating it at least once a day. The easiest recipe I’ve used it for is take some fish (I like swai or tilapia) throw it in the toaster oven for 6 minutes at 350, flip it, spread a few tablespoons of this awesomeness on it, and cook for another 6 minutes. GREAT DINNER!

  3. Marta

    Holy C#$p it is hot. If you aren’t a chili-head Beware!
    I ate a small amount on the end of my fork to taste it before I cooked with it. It was very flavorful and then the spice hit the back of my throat. I thought my head was going to pop off.

  4. Rianty

    Ohhh!!! I am addicted!! Great on ANY meat and vegetables. I eat it as a dip with raw vegetable like cucumber or carrot, or mix it with white rice and meat. I am from Indonesia, while I was in Trader’s Joe, I picked this just to fulfill my Indonesian taste bud and didn’t expect it to be THIS GOOD!! So fresh and no preservative taste like other Indonesian sambal I found in Asian Market, the ones that I bought in a desperation mode just because I miss Indonesian taste so much. Thanks Trader’s Joe!

  5. Steve

    Excellent! The flavors are outstanding especially the garlic! I don’t feel it’s too hot or spicy, but I don’t eat a lot of it at one sitting. It seems to be good on just about everything as one reviewer said. I can only hope this becomes more permanent if it’s just a seasonal/temporary item.

  6. Wes

    After seeing all the good reviews for this on here, I decided to buy it. Wow! Despite all the five-star reviews, I still didn’t realize it would be THIS good! It reminds me of a combination of olive oil and salsa. Maybe that sounds weird, but the taste is incredible – unique and addictive. Delicious on bread or chicken or vegetables or rice or tortilla chips or probably almost anything else you can think of putting it on or dipping in it!

  7. Esperanza Balthasarsdottir

    Something possessed me to pick up this unassuming little jar, on a shelf at TJ’s that I rarely buy anything from, and I’m SO glad I did! I agree with a previous poster that it’s more of a “spread” than a “salsa”, because of its oil-based texture, but the flavors just explode in your mouth, no matter what you put it on! I’ve had it on bread, rice, and pasta so far (I’m a vegetarian), and it is delicious and completely addictive! I’m going to buy out the entire shelf at my TJ’s and hoard them, for fear that they should ever stop selling it! Yummylicious!

  8. Chrissy

    Super flavorful and addiction. I wasn’t sure what to expect from it at first. Definitely more of a spread than salsa as-is. But if you drain out the excess oil and serve it in a bowl, it becomes more like a salsa! Goes great on tortilla chips, bread, chicken, and probably more. I’m still trying it out on other things as a dip and as a salsa. Didn’t find it spicy at all.

  9. Mary Jane

    A neighbor of mine from Indonesia made her spring rolls and served a dipping sauce like this, only a little thicker and I have been looking for that flavor ever since! In a word, delicious! In another word – addicting!. In yet ANOTHER word, FRESH! Ok, one last word – lemonbrightspicygood!

    On toast or as a dipping sauce, SUPER with egg or spring rolls!
    It is even good on just a spoon, straight out of the jar! Yup, that’s right…..”Oh, I’ll just have one half-teaspoon…….or eight….”

    As a Texan, I did not find it too be over-poweringly spicy, but there was a definite kick!

    Been shopping at TJ’s since California in the early 90s – very good prices on distinctive food. THIS PRODUCT IS A KEEPER!!!

  10. Vanessa

    Thank you Trader Joe’s!! I lived in Indonesia for quite some time and this sambal is the real deal! It makes my day every time I use it – which is basically all the time. Fantastic flavor profile, great on everything from eggs to chips to fish and meats. Home. Run.

  11. Becky

    Bought it yesterday and the jar is half full now… So good… Yum.

  12. Kathie

    I LOVE this stuff!!! Versatile and delicious. The flavor is complex. It is tangy, and with a bit of zing (not hot, IMHO) and full of SW Asian flavor. I like it so much I sometimes just eat it by the spoon (I know, you think I am gross now, but it is just THAT good).

  13. Celeste

    LOVED this and now it’s discontinued (at least at my store). Delicious by itself on anything. Also great smashed with feta and a bit of olive oil on crackers or bread…..or mixed in with pasta and maybe chopped avocado, and…… I’m so sorry I can no longer buy it!

  14. Dori Bushman

    We would buy this two jars at a time- and eat it with everything – I’ve been checking our local TJ for restock every other day – has it really been continued? 🙁

  15. Dori Bushman

    One of my very favorite TJ specialty products- great swap for Siracha lovers!

  16. Barbara P>

    LOve this stuff. I take 1 lb. of chicken breast, cut into small pieces, one container of TraDER Joe’s Asian stir fry veggies and 1/3 to 1.2 jar of this cook it up on top of the stove and we love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Tigris

    Hot, spicy addicting! It turns anything into a quick dinner or snack. Broil some fish, chicken, or tofu. Serve with rice and top it with this amazing sauce. I also eat it with pita chips for as a snack. I also use the extra oil as a marinade- just add a little lime juice. Trader Joe’s has a habit of getting me addicted to stuff like this, then they discontinue. They better not do it with Sambal Matah or I will go through some serious withdrawal!

  18. chris

    This nearly killed me … I ate a large tub of ice cream just to survive Reading the reviews only one experienced anything like I had … Two spoonfuls and I was i taking breath but not exhaling … So bloody scary … I can’t believe the other reviews
    Did they not really try it … No one told me it was this hot and I would feel like I was taking my last breath

  19. Heidi

    This is amazing.
    It is easily combined with coconut milk with any choice of protein in a slow cooker.
    Especially with Jackfruit!!!
    Spicy yes, but coconut milk cuts it and begins to develop into an amazing indonesian curry

  20. Jane

    Love this stuff. It has been out of stock at my TJ’s store for months. Hope they get it back. When/if they do, I will buy 10 jars!

  21. Mary

    I am so addicted to this condiment that I buy 2 jars every time I go to TJ’s because I know from sad experience it can disappear at any time. One of my favorite meals is bacon & eggs with sambal matah. How simple is that!

  22. Anita

    I just bought this today, having never noticed it before – it was on the very bottom shelf. Wow! Mixed it with a little ground beef and mashed cauliflower (low carb diet). I belive this is now my go-to sauce. As others have said, I wouldn’t consider this a salsa, at least I won’t be using it as such. I’m a bit of a chili head and I was VERY satisfied with the heat in this stuff.

    Reading some of the comments, I’m going to head back to TJ’s this week and by additional jars, in case they decide to discontinue this “heaven in a jar”.

  23. Enid

    I tasted this to see what it was like. I never did figure out what to put it on, because I just ate it straight out of the jar!

  24. Linda

    I love this stuff! Unlike anything I’ve had before, the flavors are amazing, and the heat level just right. I added a jar to a 7 quart crock pot of bean soup for a potluck and the crowd devoured it, everyone was asking for the recipe. I hope they keep selling it, cuz I can’t get enough!

  25. carolyn

    I didn’t realize how spicy it was and tried a spoon full to try it, I was surprised i never had anything this spicy, and had to drink lots of water but added a lot of rice and then it was really good but super spicy. I love spicy, but you have to just use a little at a time.

  26. Rob

    This is one of my most favorite things ever. I put it on absolutely EVERYTHING. I have a jar at work and a jar at home. It is spicy, but I love spicy things. Beyond the heat the flavor is oh so delicious. I can’t recommend this enough.

  27. Anonymous

    Tastes much better cooled than raw. Yum!

  28. Susie B.

    I didn’t realize this was so hot and spicy and swallowed a small portion. The minute the chili hit my throat, it started to swell and I was gasping for air. I almost passed out, it was very scary. For those who are sensitive to certain types of chili peppers beware, this is potent.

  29. mary

    Love, love, love this stuff. I use it on steamed veggies and rice and don’t think I’ll ever need another condiment.

  30. Steve

    This is great mixed into a rice or farro bowl with avocados, succeed hard boiled eggs, and a bit of plain yogurt.

  31. Dean

    This sambal matah is delicious. We don’t have a TJ’s near us so I buy it in Birmingham, AL when I travel through which is every couple of months. I bought 2 jars a couple of months ago and just bought 5 more. The flavor is bright and flavorful and a little spicy. I don’t understand the folks that think it’s VERY spicy because to my taste buds it isn’t. There’s no Habanero or Ghost Pepper level of spiciness here, probably a little more heat than a medium tomato salsa. Great stuff!

  32. hilary


  33. Kristine

    Last Christmas my sister gifted me with a sack full of Trader Joe’s goodness. I have been wanting to try the sambal mahtah. It is an excellent product. My spice level of tolerance has changed since quitting smoking, but used in moderation this stuff really hits the spot. I just stirred some into Bush’s Mesquite black beans to finish drying out and cooking in the oven. The house smells amazing! My favorite ingredient in the sambal is the shallot. The crunchiness an burst of flavor is outstanding. I am hoping that this product won’t go the way of Trader Joe’s India Relish from a few years back. I can already see my spreading this on panini, crackers, mixed with cream cheese for a spread……….

  34. Kristine

    I just made another quesadilla with this sambal sprinkled beside the avocado and cheese. Quite tasty. The beans I baked with this product stirred in were fantastic. I ate the whole pot over several days. Couldn’t get enough of them! Found myself sneaking just a spoonful every once in a while. I will be looking for this product online through Amazon. Truly a great addition to any pantry.

  35. Gary

    This is excellent. Rather spicy, but wonderfully blended. This is amazing as a condiment for a fish taco. I’ve also spread it over Ahi Tuna patties fried in olive oil. Even though it is an Indonesian recipe in origin, I enjoy this on parantha or roti when having an Indian meal.

    There’s a lot of oil in this, and it’s pungent. Be careful not to spill on carpet. When you use it, be sure to take spoon out a little extra oil, or you’ll be left with a lot of it later… although you could always cook with it as well. You don’t need a lot for good flavor so a jar lasts a decent period of time.

  36. Sandy

    Run – don’t walk – to your nearest Trader Joe’s to hoard what will become a pantry staple. While called a “salsa”, it’s probably best served with hearty crackers or a sliced baguette with cheese. Poured over a goat cheese log and served with crackers would be an excellent appetizer for a party. As a condiment, its uses are endless…as detailed in many of the other reviews here.

    I personally will use Trader Joe’s Sambal Matah as a key ingredient in many dishes. I just added some to my Trader Joe’s Organic Roasted Tomato Gazpacho, along with a chopped Persian cucumber and a little fresh mozzarella. I also added about a 1/3 of the jar to the tomato-vegetable poaching broth for some wild caught Pacific Cod I prepared on Saturday night…and it was excellent. I’m looking forward to cooler temps when I can throw in an entire jar to a vegetable or chicken-based homemade soup.

  37. Christine

    I Saw this on the bottom shelf and thought it sounded interesting. I picked it up not expecting much from it but oh my goodness this blew my mind! It is delicious! Like spectacularly delicious. I bought it yesterday and the jar is almost gone. I’ve used it for breakfast lunch and dinner. This can be used to enhance any dish cooked or straight out of the jar. It’s got a nice kick but not overwhelming. The lemongrass adds brightness to the garlic and onion. The real beauty is that there isn’t one (of these usually potent ingredients) that overpowers the other flavors. Perfectly blended. I am going back tomorrow to pick up the rest. I’m quite surprised they hide this on the bottom corner of a shelf! It’s easily one of the most amazing things I’ve ever picked up from there!

  38. Elisabeth

    Bummer !!!! Just found out TJ has discontinued the Sambal Matah. It was my go to condiment. I loved it and used it especially with quesadillas. You think they might bring it back????????????

  39. Pam

    I am bereft. Trader Joe’s has discontinued this item, according to the clerk who checked the “Computer” for me. What a loss. This was my go to condiment.

  40. Victoria

    A friend told us about this stuff we used it for everything . Went to JOE’S today clerk said it was discontinued. WHAT!! I PROTEST!!……IN OLYMPIA WA

  41. MJ S

    This was my favorite spread ever. I topped eggs, mixed with sour cream or yoghurt for dip, extremely versatile. Mildly spicy and overflowing with complex flavor that’s perfectly balanced.

    I found out yesterday it was discontinued, so I’m going to try to make my own. Or just see if Lee Lee’s has it!

  42. Tania

    Very good and robust flavors.

    I still see quite a lot of stock in a nearby Trader’s Joe (Manhattan). Maybe I should stock it up.

  43. Darcey

    This is not real sambal. It has no spicy to it and is really oily. Plus, the lemongrass taste is a little too much. I usually love all things TJ’s, but this was a disappointment.

  44. Holly

    Delish! Was sad to hear my Traders no longer carries it. Is this true of all stores?

  45. C Lopez

    I love this stuff. I spent some time in Indonesia (North Sulawesi). Fresh sambal was on the table for all meals. My favorite was the pork satay with sambal ots, but I put on almost all my savory foods.
    I make a red curry coconut butternut squash soup and add a couple of tablespoons of saambal matah to it and buzz it in my vitamix blender. The sambal matah take it to a whole new level.
    Please, please bring this product back. Thank you.
    Your humble TJ’s shopper

  46. erchacha

    I love this product! Please, please bring it back. It takes my red curry coconut butternut squash soup to a whole new level. Thank you.
    A humble TJ’s shopper

  47. Josh

    Bring it back!’nnn

  48. LMO

    Please bring this product back. For those of us that cook asian food on the regular it is indispensable. I am so heartbroken that you discontinued it. Please please bring it back!

  49. Felicia

    Please bring it back
    If not tell us who is your supplier, so we can get it directly from them.

  50. juliana

    My foodie friend and I are obsessed with TJ’s Sambal Matah! We’re so sad that it’s been discontinued. We’ve been trying to make it ourselves, but haven’t been able to nail the goopy texture or the exact flavor. Ours turns out more like a spicy, fresh, chopped salad. Can anyone out there share a recipe/technique to make something similar to TJ’s product?

  51. Constance Bassett

    Sad that this five star product has been discontinued.
    Perhaps TJ’s will reconsider????
    Also looking for a replacement.
    Raw recipes will not resemble this one because it has been cooked/canned.
    A management person at our local Trader Joes suggested that I check an Asian market for a similar product.
    Otherwise I might start by collecting the ingredients listed on the jar and try making a gently cooked version myself, using online recipes as guidance.

  52. Kathy

    Please bring it back. Another fan

  53. kate snell

    How could you discontinue this product?!!!! It is the best item in your store. Bring it back!

  54. Lian

    Trader Joe’s needs to reposition this product not as salsa but as basis for many Indonesian dishes.
    Sell and add some recipes. This is a great authentic Indonesian tasting product. I am interested to know who the original manufacturer is. Thank you.

  55. Steve


  56. Rob S


  57. Katt

    please bring it back, or provide supplier name if no longer going to carry!

  58. leisa

    i emailed the company they said it was a slow seller. would restock if more folks started requesting it. lets bombatd them with emails,

  59. Houseofpandas

    Please please please bring it back !!!

  60. Tricia Luther

    Really??? Will you please bring this product back? I LOVE it!!!

  61. Susan Thompson-Gaines

    This stuff was TERRIFIC. Color me sad they axed it. Dumb move, Joe. It was great.

  62. Mia Goss

    I love this sauce in my wraps it added more flavorfulness to my cooked dishes please bring it back trader joes I had a bought a few jars at a time since I feared this would happen please bring back TJ’s.

  63. Anonymous

    Months later still searching the shelves for this jar of delicious. Anything else has a decent substitute– including the onion jam (bacon jam or cranberry sauce works in a pinch).

    Sambal is unique.

  64. Sherry

    Please bring it back TJ!!! I’m obsessed with this, it’s soooo good. It goes good with anything and everything. So sad it’s discontinued.

  65. Jay Rao

    Me too….. i am totally bummed…. PLEASE BRING IT BACK!!….. please please please…..

  66. Trevor Corbin

    Please bring this item back!

  67. KM

    We love this stuff. Please, please, please bring it back!

  68. Anonymous

    Not happy this was discontinued, but my boyfriend figured out how to make it, so I’m very happy, still love trader joes though, lol, we are in there all the time

  69. Mary De Jong

    I bought the last 12 jars in my TJs store. I only have six jars left, and they’re going fast. Please bring it back or let us know the supplier so we can order from them. Please!

  70. Pamela

    Why would you remove an item that was the only reason people go to Trader Joe’s??? What the AF?

  71. Don D.

    I bought this product months ago and unfortunately it remained in my fridge because i didnt know what to eat with it. Finally, I tried it and OMG!!!!! I LOVE IT. My friends would smell my lunch and ask what was it and I told them. Unfortunately, I went to TJ’s tonight to buy some for some friends and myself and learned it was discontinued! So sad to see it go. TJ’s PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE BRING IT BACK!!!!!!! It actually made my cooking taste and smell INCREDIBLE.

  72. sher shepps

    We just finished our last jar of this and were so upset to find out that it is now discontinued. Had we known that was going to happen, we would have bought 6-8 jars last time instead of 2. PLEASE bring this back, TJ’s………it is great on a lot of things but especially on your frozen Scallion Pancakes!

  73. Sher Shepps

    This has a wonderful crisp, spicy flavor and is good on a multitude of dishes from entrees to vegetables.

  74. Norma Sandler

    This is a very well loved, addicting product for so many people including me. Please bring it back or at least provide the recipe. It’s so magically exotic and delicious. Amazing how many ways you can use it.

  75. Derrick Bosco

    Bring this back now please. Im so hungry and have nothing to spice up my meals

  76. Vicki Morton

    Went to Chicago store to buy six more bottles. Found out it has been discontinued. Bummer!

    Please bring this stuff back!

  77. Amanda

    I, too, am so missing the Sambal Matah. Please bring it back, if even for a limited release! We need to stock up 🙂

  78. Mari murao

    To bring this product back email:
    under “contact us” at the bottom of the page
    and let them know you want Sambal Matah back on the shelves!!!

  79. Mari murao

    Amazing Product
    Addictive !!!!
    Good on everything

  80. Dana Clay

    Please, Please bring back your Sambal Matah. No one else has anything like it. It’s great on pizza or fish, or veggie patties, or anything!

  81. joanne

    Please bring back your Sambal Matah..It was the best ever

    on fish, rice, veggies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  82. SoCal

    Agreed. Very sad that a special product is removed.

  83. Pam Collins

    It is the best thing ever PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE bring it back to the Federal Way Washington store it goes with everything and everyone I serve it to LOVES it

  84. Raquel O.

    Went to find Sambal Matah at our Trader Joe’s here in phoenix, it was a perfect spread for our lox bagels . Absolute perfect touch for our taste buds. An employee said they discontinued it because they didn’t get much sale for it. So sad. I searched the whole store 5x over looking for something similar, the closest I could find was a salsa called Harissa Salsa. Still not the same. I later found Trader Joe’s sambal matah on Amazon and also for those of you that would like to try making it at home, there is a recipe!!

  85. Patricia

    Does anyone have a link to a good recipe for the sambal? Been missing it so much.

  86. Victoria

    I need it back!!
    It was perfect to make fried rice!

  87. Erin

    I love this stuff!!! How can they discontinue it???? #wtf?

  88. Johanne Straarup

    I went to Trader Joe s today. My heart broke when I discovered Sambal Matah had been discontinued. ??

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