top of page

Iga Penyet - Crispy Braised Spare Ribs with Sambal Terasi (GF)

By: Ilona Salim

Missing a little spice in your life? This dish surely packs a punch!

Iga Penyet is a traditional Indonesian dish, specifically from East Java, which literally translates to 'smashed' or 'squeezed' spare ribs. Its name originates from the way the dish is prepared -- ribs are smashed on a flat mortar with the chili paste to allow the sambal flavor to get completely infused. We tried to make our simplified rendition of Iga Penyet, without the mortar and pestle but with all the flavors! Hope you enjoy it!



- 500 grams beef ribs (spare ribs if possible, but we used back ribs and it was delicious too!)

- 1 liter water

- 1 stick of lemongrass

- 3 pieces of bay leaves

- 1/2 tbsp tamarind

- Salt, to taste

- Palm sugar, to taste

Grounded Spices:

- 5 cloves of baby shallots

- 3 cloves of garlic

- 2 pieces of candlenut

- 1/2 tbsp coriander

- 1/2 tsp pepper

- 1 cm ginger

- 2 tbsp water


We used this bottled chili paste (shown below).

But you can also make your own with:

- 3-6 pieces of chili depending on spice level

- 3 cloves of baby shallots

- 1 clove of garlic

- 1 tbsp fried shrimp paste

- Salt, to taste

- Palm sugar, to taste


1. Combine ingredients for grounded spice into a food processor/blender and grind. Add in more water, if needed.

2. Combine ribs, bay leaves, lemongrass, salt, palm sugar, tamarind, and grounded spice into a pressure cooker for 15-20 minutes. If you don’t have a pressure cooker (like us haha), combine ingredients into a large pot and simmer for 3-4 hours.

3. Once it’s done, ribs should be very tender and falling off the bones. Place ribs in a separate bowl. You can save the broth for other dishes. We used ours in our Shirataki pork noodle soup. Check it out!

4. Heat up some vegetable oil and fry ribs until it browns and creates a crisp outer layer.

5. If you are not using a bottled chili paste, place all chili ingredients in a mortar and pestle and grind until smooth. Alternatively, you can use a food processor, however, it is traditionally done with a mortar and pestle.

6. Sauté the chili in a saucepan with a bit of sweet soy sauce (to taste).

7. Plate. Spread a layer of the chili paste on the serving dish and place fried ribs on top.

Optional: Sprinkle on some fried shallots and enjoy with some sweet soy sauce.

Don't forget to tag us if you try one of our recipes! :)

305 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page