A bottle of homemade sambal belacan (belachan) is surely a handy condiment to have. I am a self confessed sambal belachan addict. Now that I started making my own sambal belachan chilli, there is no turning back for me. Sambal belacan is such a handy condiment to keep in the fridge – you can add a little to any dish especially for local dishes such as fried bee hoon and fried rice. As a condiment, it makes any bland dish taste great. I swear I can eat plain white rice with only sambal belacan and still emerged very happy.
Note: The more belacan (shrimp paste) you use, the darker the colour of the sambal chilli. For the one pictured above, I used more than the stated quantity in the recipe, hence the dark shade. I love adding more belacan when making this chilli for stir-fries. If using it solely as a condiment, I use less belacan, i.e. the actual quantity stated in the recipe.
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You can use sambal belacan for stir-fries (pictured above), or fry it with some dried shrimps, garlic and shallots for a more Chinese version of spicy dried shrimps, or more commonly known locally as hae bee hiam. Making your sambal belachan is really easy since there is no cooking involved (except for toasting the belacan beforehand). It stores in the fridge for slightly more than a week.