Just 2 minutes and 3 ingredients to make this spicy sambal aioli. This refreshing garlicky chili lime mayo is so versatile and gives a hot & tangy kick to all your dishes!

Dipping a red bell pepper into a small white bowl of spicy sambal mayonnaise.

In this post you’ll learn:

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • 🌢️ Bold Flavor Explosion: Sambal Aioli brings the heat with a zesty, spicy kick.
  • 🌱 Plant-based Goodness: This easy sambal sauce recipe uses creamy vegan mayo for guilt-free indulgence.
  • πŸŽ‰ Effortless and Quick: Done in just 1 simple step in just 2 minutes!
  • πŸ₯— Versatile Vibes: Dress up salads, slather on sandwiches, or dip veggies; this aioli plays well with anything!
  • 🌈 Customizable Creation: Adjust the seasoning to your liking!
Close-up of a spoonful of spicy sambal mayonnaise, with more chili lime aioli in the background being blurred.

What is Sambal Aioli/Sambal Mayo?

Sambal Aioli, or Sambal Mayo, is a flavor-packed condiment blending creamy (vegan) mayo with Sambal Oelek, an Indonesian chili sauce, which is kind of like the Indonesian version of sriracha, if you will. If you’d like to know more about Sambal Oelek and how it differs from sriracha, check out this article from Food Republic.

The only difference, I guess, is that we Indonesians use sambal almost everywhere haha. From fried rice, soups, to even pizzas haha (I know I know, not like I’m in favor of the last one, but you know, I’ve gotta say the truth right haha).


  • Mayonnaise: Whether store-bought or homemade (such as in this 3-Minute Vegan Oil-free Mayonnaise recipe), this is the creamy base in our chili lime aioli.
    • Note that mayonnaise is traditionally not vegan so definitely check the ingredients list!
  • Sambal Oelek: An Indonesian chili paste that brings the perfect blend of heat and bold flavor.
    • Feel free to substitute with any chili paste/sauce of your choice, such as sambal badjak, your favorite hot sauce, or some sweet chili sauce (such as from Mae Ploy).
    • They will taste different, but will still be delicious!
  • Lime Juice: The zesty goodness which adds a refreshing tang that balances the richness of the mayo.
Plant-based mayo, sambal, lime, and cayenne pepper in small white bowls with labels.

What is sambal sauce made of?

Sambal chili sauce is usually made using a mix of chili peppers and vinegar. Some of the more authentic brands also add garlic, and shallots, creating that vibrant and spicy sauce which adds a kick to your dishes!

Sriracha vs Sambal vs Gochujang

Sriracha includes sugar and garlic whereas sambal oelek usually does not include sugar and usually only contains garlic if it’s the original version and made in Indonesia. This makes sriracha milder than sambal, as explained in this post by All Recipes.

As for gochujang, it is thicker in texture, so closer to tomato paste in terms of texture. Gochujang is also fermented whereas sambal oelek is not. For this chili aioli, you can sub the sambal with sriracha, but I would not sub it with gochujang. Don’t worry though, if you want gochujang aioli instead, I do have a Creamy Gochujang Aioli recipe so check that one out instead!

Someone dipping a red bell pepper stick into a white bowl of chili sambal aioli.

Does Sambal Aioli contain garlic?

Well, the traditional aioli recipes do contain garlic. However, since the spiciness from the sambal oelek could already be overwhelming to some, I chose to not use garlic in this recipe.

However, if you’re a big fan of garlic, feel free to add 1 small garlic clove to this sambal mayonnaise, grated or very finely minced. The finer you grate/mince them, the better all the flavors will blend in the spicy chili garlic aioli!

How to Make Sambal Aioli (Spicy Aioli Sauce)

Stir and mix. That’s literally it! You only have to stir everything together until well combined.

I bet now you just want to make all kinds of flavors of aiolis! πŸ˜‰

Jazzing Things Up

Want to make a sweet chili aioli instead? Add 2 teaspoons of maple syrup or any other liquid sweetener.

Want more spicy kick? Try adding some cayenne pepper to your chili aioli. Remember that a little goes a long way in this aioli dipping sauce!

Feeling adventurous? You can try other types of sambal such as sambal badjak (or sambal bajak), or even some sambal hijau (green chili sauce) to sub the sambal oelek with. Just note that you have to like the taste of the sambal that you’re using so that this chili aioli will turn out well!

Speaking of different chili paste, I have two recipes using gochujang, the famous Korean chili paste. Check out my Easy Gochujang Ramen recipe or similar to this one, my 3-Minute Gochujang Aioli recipe! And no, sambal is different from gochujang. Sambal is Indonesian whereas gochujang is a Korean chili paste (scroll above for more explanation)!

Close-up of a bowl of sambal mayonnaise with bell pepper sticks around it on a white plate.

Serving Suggestions

This chili aioli is perfect as a dip for your French fries, sweet potato fries, veggie chips, you name it! They’re also great as sauces/dressing for your salad/macro/Buddha bowls (such as in this Quick Rainbow Poke Bowl recipe).

It’s also great to spread this on your burgers, toasts, or bagels!

Speaking of bagels, you might want to check out my Avocado Bagel Sandwich Toast recipe, or my Hummus Veggie Bagel recipe. They are both super delicious! πŸ˜‹

Storage and Meal Prep Instructions

Storage: Store your spicy sambal mayo in the fridge for up to a week. You might need to stir it before serving to mix everything together again.

Meal prep: This chili lime aioli is great to prep ahead since it lasts for up to a week in the fridge! Because also, is it even a meal prep if you don’t have any sauces?

Sauces are huge! They are so versatile and can really take your dishes up a notch, so if you’re not incorporating them yet into your meal prep, you know what to do now! πŸ˜‰

Someone who was wearing jeans dipping a bell pepper into a white bowl of chili lime aioli.


How spicy is sambal?

This one really depends on the brand and the variety of the sambal that you bought.

Sambal oelek is usually mild in flavor, while sambal badjak and sambal brandal tend to be spicier. In general, sambal that are made outside the US and Europe (especially those made in Indonesia, the home of sambal) are spicier than those coming from American or European brands.

When in doubt, just ask the person in the store for their advice!

Is sambal aioli spicy?

Yes! This chili lime aioli contains sambal which is where the spiciness comes from. However, you can adjust the heat to your liking.

If it’s too spicy, just add more mayonnaise (or even a bit of liquid sweetener to balance it out) whereas if you’d like it spicier, add more sambal or even a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Can I freeze this Sambal Mayo?

No, please do not freeze your sambal mayonnaise as it will change the texture and consistency.

Looking for more sauces & dips recipes?

You’re at the right place!

First up, this is the base mayonnaise recipe that I use throughout this blog. It’s oil-free and completely vegan and is done in 3 minutes!

For more spicy sauces🌢️, check out my Tandoori Mayonnaise, Calabrian Chili Aioli, Gochujang Aioli, or Kimchi Aioli recipe. Or this Black Peppercorn Aioli or Dijon Mustard Aioli for a milder kick!

For recipes that go well with these dips, check out my Hummus Bagel, my Avocado Bagel, or my Healthy Garlic Bread recipe. And if you don’t have a fancy bread loaf, you can also make Garlic Bread using Regular Sliced Bread!

This dip also goes well with sushi btw, so check out my Shiitake Roll, my Kappa Maki (Cucumber Roll), or my Kimchi Sushi recipes! Or my Peanut Butter Rice recipe because peanut + sambal = goodness!πŸ˜‹

The EASIEST Sambal Aioli (Spicy Chili Lime Mayo, in 2 Minutes!)

Creamy sambal chili lime aioli mayonnaise being dipped with a red bell pepper.
Just 2 minutes and 3 ingredients to make this spicy sambal aioli. This refreshing garlicky chili lime mayo is so versatile and gives that hot & tangy kick to all your dishes!
Jem @ The Fruity Jem
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes
Serving Size 8 servings


  • Β½ cup mayo (115 grams) I used my homemade oil-free vegan mayo but feel free to use store-bought
  • 1 Tablespoon sambal oelek you can add more if you like things spicy
  • juice from half a lime (about 2 to 3 teaspoons)


  • In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients until they're evenly mixed. And that's it!


Top Tips
  • Craving a sweet twist? Add 2 teaspoons of maple syrup or any other liquid sweetener to make it a sweet chili aioli.
  • For an extra spicy kick, sprinkle in cayenne pepperβ€”remember, a little goes a long way!
  • Feeling adventurous? Experiment with sambal variations like sambal badjak or sambal hijau for a unique twist, ensuring you enjoy the flavor.
Storage and Meal Prep Notes
  • This spicy chili aioli will remain fresh in the fridge for up to a week. Be sure to store them in an air-tight container though!
Other Notes
  • The calorie information is for 1 serving (1 Tablespoon) of sambal chili lime mayo.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Thanks for sharing. I love hot sauces and this is my first time trying sambal. Will definitely remake the recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    It’s like sriracha mayo, but with more flavor. Thanks!