Serve this samphire and sea beet sambol recipe as part of a menu along with Hoppers' Sri Lankan crab curry and yellow rice. Next, check out our egg hoppers, coconut sambal and more Sri Lankan recipes, plus learn more in our insider guide to Sri Lankan food.

You can read our guide on what is samphire for advice on where to buy this ingredient.


  • 2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • ½-1 lime, juiced
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • 2 round shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 50g fresh coconut, finely grated (or defrosted frozen grated coconut)
  • a small handful samphire
  • a small handful sea beets, roughly chopped
  • 1 green chilli, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • roughly chopped to make 2 tbsp coriander leaves
  • ground to make ½ tsp black peppercorns


  • STEP 1

    Use a large pestle and mortar to thoroughly bash ½ tsp of salt and the chilli flakes, adding a little squeeze of lime juice. Once the chilli flakes have turned into a bright red powder, add the curry leaves and shallots, and pound a few times to break them up and release their juices – you just want to bruise them, as opposed to turning them into a paste.

  • STEP 2

    Add the coconut and the juice of half a lime. Pound a few more times to bruise the coconut, then stir everything together.

  • STEP 3

    Tip the mixture into a medium bowl, add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Check for seasoning and add more salt or lime juice, if you like. This sambol is best enjoyed at room temperature or slightly chilled. It will keep for up to 3 hours but is best assembled at the last minute and eaten fresh.


If you can’t find fresh or frozen coconut, you can use 2 heaped tbsp of desiccated coconut. Soak it in 60ml of just-boiled water for 10 minutes, then squeeze out the water before using.

Want more crab salad recipes? Try this Thai kohlrabi and crab number

Thai Crab Salad Recipe with Kohlrabi

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