I first encountered dabu-dabu on a trip around North Sulawesi, where it's the local sambal (the generic Indonesian word for chili sauce). Although almost certainly developed locally, dabu-dabu is definitely a dead ringer for Mexican salsa. It went very well with another Indonesian favorite: corn cakes.

Dabu-dabu - the Indonesian "salsa"

I did a little investigating and found several recipes for dabu-dabu. It seems that like any popular dish, there are as many recipes as there are cooks, but the basics remain the same: tomatoes, chilies, lime juice and oil. Common variations include using shallots in place of green onions and the addition of fresh basil. No matter how you make it, be sure to give it a day or more to "ferment" before using. Otherwise it will taste quite "rough".


Servings: 4

1 cup (Plum tomatoes preferred) Tomatoes
10 pepper chopped Red hot chilis (Thai)
3 medium (4-1/8" long) chopped Spring onions
2 Tbl Lime juice
2 tablespoon Olive oil
1/2 tsp Sugar


  1. Mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Store in the refrigerator for at least one day before using.

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 132 Calories from Fat 72
Total Fat 8g 12%
Saturated 1g 6%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 10%
Sugars 7g  
Protein 3g