Sambal Belacan

Sambal Belacan Recipe

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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.

See Also: Sambal Tumis Recipe

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. Sambal Belacan Recipe

Sambal Belacan Recipe

A little warning though - your kitchen will smell kind of pungent when you make sambal or when you cook with sambal - but to me, a small price to pay for something so delicious. Feel free to tweak the amount of chilli and belacan to suit your preference.

Serves: a small bottle

Prep Time: 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 5 finger length red chilli deseeded
  • 3 to 5 chilli padi aka bird's eye chilli (no need to deseed - for the heat; to taste)
  • 10 grams belachan toasted in a dry pan
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 tbsp lime juice from small limes (calamansi)
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Tools Needed

  • A mini blender/food processor OR mortar & pestle

Directions

  1. In a blender, grind chillis and belachan. You can also pound the ingredients using a mortar & pestle.
  2. Transfer blended paste to a small bowl. Add sugar, lime juice and salt to taste. Stir to mix well. You can store the chilli in refrigerator for about a week. It can be used as a chilli condiment or in stir fries.

Noob Cook Tips

  1. Wear disposable plastic gloves when de-seeding chilli to prevent chilli burn.
  2. If you do not have calamansi (small lime), you can substitute with larger lime or lemon (though calamansi gives it the best taste).