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I just noticed that sambal oelek has an expiration date. Does that stuff really go bad?

asked by gotligirl over 3 years ago
8 answers 6886 views
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aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 3 years ago

I have never even checked for one but usually a large jar will last me several months with no issues ...

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HalfPint

HalfPint is a trusted home cook.

added over 3 years ago

yes, it may grow mold,but for the most part, it loses flavor and heat. I've never seen an expiration date on my sambal oelek, but I always do a sniff test and a check of the stuff on top for mold.

516f887e 3787 460a bf21 d20ef4195109  bigpan
added over 3 years ago

When you consider the cost to buy a new jar, versus time spent in the bathroom - I would opt for tossing when in doubt and buying fresh and new.

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boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 3 years ago

I've been working on a jar for well over a year. It doesn't show an expiration date. I've left it out overnight a few times, accidentally, and it lacks nothing in potency, it's shown no sign of mold, nor has it sent me anywhere other than to bed happy.

84baef1b 1614 4c3d a895 e859c9d40bd1  chris in oslo
Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added over 3 years ago

Various brands seem to suggest shelf lives that range from one to two years. Many say that it does not have to be kept in the refrigerator. I refrigerate mine, check for mold, and don't worry about the date. I've never noted a flavor change.

84baef1b 1614 4c3d a895 e859c9d40bd1  chris in oslo
Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added over 3 years ago

By the way, I looked and looked before I found the date on my current jar. It wasn't on the label but on its own clear plastic, small label near the top of the jar, almost impossible to see.

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pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 3 years ago

Your nemesis here really is mold---which at the beginning can be invisible. Think of the "use by" dates as suggestions. But the essential ingredients in sambal, vinegar and chile help to retard this.

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added over 3 years ago

Huy Fong Sambal Oelek is made primarily from chili (spelling from the label), distilled vinegar and salt. I never noticed a 'best before' date until this question was raised. We do not refrigerate it, it has passed its date, and is still happily in use. The most important factor in avoiding mold is to avoid contamination -- use a clean utensil in the jar, never something that has been used elsewhere or been in your mouth.