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Sambal Belacan (Chili with Shrimp Paste)

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

I finally made some tasty sambal belacan! Sambal belacan is a very common and popular condiment in Malaysia, we usually have it with nasi lemak, Kuala Lumpur-style Hokkien mee, Hokkien prawn mee, curry mee...umm...anything really cause we love chili in everything!

Sambal belacan is traditionally prepared using a stone mortar, but for convenience' sake, I've used a food processor. The blended chili paste was not as red as I expected because my rather crappy food processor didn't do a good job blending the chillies. Anyhow, the end result is amazing! One of the better sambal belacan that I have eaten so far. Maybe because it is self-made, I can adjust the level of spiciness, sweetness and saltiness to suit my taste. I didn't have to add any salt as the belacan paste itself is very salty.


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Ingredients: makes about 3 cups
Adapted from My Asian Kitchen's recipe


  • 1 tbs + 1/4 cup oil
  • 140g belacan (dried shrimp paste) - cut into 1/2-inch thick
  • 2/3 cup sugar (more or less to taste)
A:

  • 150g red chili - stems removed, coarsely chopped
  • 4 stems lemongrass - tough outer layer removed, thinly sliced
  • 3 bulbs garlic - peeled
  • 250g shallots - peeled
  • 1 tbs turmeric powder
  • 30g galangal - thinly sliced
  • 40g ginger - thinly sliced
  • 100g candlenut
  • 1/2 cup oil

Directions:
  • Place all ingredients A in a food processor and blend until smooth.
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  • Heat up 1 tbs of oil in a pan.
  • Add blocks of belacan and lightly fry both sides. Remove from pan, place aside for later use.
  • Heat up 1/4 cup of oil in the same pan.
  • Add blended paste and fry on medium-high heat until fragrant.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low heat, mix in fried blocks of belacan, and fry until red chili oil floats on the surface. Stir every now and then.
  • Add sugar to taste.
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What to do with sambal belacan? You can use it with almost anything really - stir-fry with aubergine, okra or morning glory, as marinade or even eat it with just rice!


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Other recipes with sambal belacan:


Stinky Petai with Homemade Sambal Belacan --> Here


Sambal Belacan Aubergine & Ladies Fingers with Minced Meat --> Here


Creamy Sambal Belacan Aubergine --> Here

48 oink oinks...:

lisaiscooking said...

Sounds like this could be addictive! Looks great with rice and egg.

The Little Teochew said...

Your recipe is pretty similar to my granny's but she always adds some dried red chili. I think it gives the sambal a brighter colour? But wow, look at that! Very nicely done indeed! :)

Su-Lin said...

I thought sambal belacan was just chilies, belacan and lime? And not fried?

pigpigscorner said...

lisa:It's really addictive =) I eat it with almost everything now.

The little teochew:Yes, I know my aunt put dried chilies too, to make it more spicy I think, but I ran out of those.

Su-lin: I think that's the traditional Malay way of making sambal belacan. The frying method is apparently a Malaysian-Chinese way of doing it. I know my aunt fries it with dried anchovies!

Christelle said...

Great for an authentic taste!! :)

Chef E said...

what a cute and healthy dish...I always like it when people put eggs on top, and I have yet to try it, well outside of my blue corn tortilla breakfast tostada I made once...hmmm ideas rolling around!

I love sambal...everything spicy!

Su-Lin said...

Ah...ok! I never knew that - my mother had been serving it the Malay way the whole time!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Mmmhhh, delicious! I love such flavors!

Cheers,

Rosa

Jenn said...

Sounds like an awesome combination!! I love using shrimp paste in dishes. Very simple, yet so delish. I could have this for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Helene said...

It looks tasty. Thanks for sharing because I've never heard of Sambal belacan.

Helene said...

It looks tasty. Thanks for sharing because I've never heard of Sambal belacan.

Grace said...

so. although shrimp paste sounds a little icky to the shrimp-hater in me, the rest of the ingredients sound fabulous and the finished product looks quite tasty and versatile. thanks for the intro!

Chrystal & said...

What is candlenut? This sounds really nice for those who love spicy foods.

Juliana said...

This is very interesting mixture of flavors...would like to try, although some of ingredients I would not have an idea to where to look at :-)

Soma said...

Wow you made this at home? this is very tempting at every meal & i could just eat with some hot steamed rice.

Gera @ SweetsFoods said...

Love spicy food so this recipe is a must...better to know that this is THE popular condiment in Malaysia.

Now I can reproduce it in my country too :)

Cheers!

Gera

katie said...

ooooo is dired shrimp paste close to the wetter jarred kind? I have some and it is stinking up my cupboard!

Marta said...

Food processors are life-savers when it comes to these meals!
Looks lovely, anything with a hard-boiled egg conquers my heart!

♥peachkins♥ said...

We have something similar to this and I'm very addicted to it as well but it doesn't have lemongrass.

This is something I'd love to try!

Big Boys Oven said...

oink! oink! this is my favourite, so hot and delicious!

Hummingbird Appetite said...

I've never had this, but your photos make it look delicious, especially with the eggs and rice!

Katherine Aucoin said...

Now this is a smart meal. I love how eggs on top are in vogue now.

burpandslurp said...

I LOVE Sambal belacan!!! It's my fav...when I was in Singapore, I used to slather it over anything, mostly rice...I probably had more ratio of this than the rice itself! Thanks for the recipe! Now I can enjoy that nostalgic taste whenever I want!

My Asian Kitchen said...

beautifully done!! I bet it's taste good!!you must eat with everything now:)

email2me said...

Fry some achovies and stiry fry it a bit .... then throw in some petai! Enough to make me clear the whole pot of rice :P

Pearl said...

that looks so delicious!

Nags said...

oooh! i love some fiery sambal with my rice!

Kitchen Flavours said...

Oh wow.....looks yum....

Jo said...

Haha, agree with you that we Malaysians put sambal in practically everything. This looks really yummy. You can use this to cook sambal ikan billis or better still sambal petai .. Yummy!

Elra said...

Drooling!
Like the Malaysia, Indonesian also love their sambal. Oh, agree with Jo ... smabal petai ... double YUM!

noble pig said...

It sounds so exotic, I'm sure it was wonderful.

Natashya said...

That does sound really good! I love spicy pastes and condiments.

Janet @Gourmet Traveller88 said...

Wow,this Sambal is great!!! I am into exploring preserve type of things recently, I would definitely have a good to make your Sambal. It is so great to have it homemade.

mycookinghut said...

This is great!! Where did you buy candle nuts?

noobcook said...

This has been on my to-do list for sometime now. Your belacan sure looks good - nothing beats home-made!

Bob said...

Never had it, but I'd love to try some. I'm not sure if I can get all those ingredients around here... exploration is clearly needed.

Christine said...

That's delicious! Love to go with boiled egg, yummy!

Girl Japan: April Marie Claire said...

Oooh.. is that Curry Roux? It all looks so divine!!!!! Are you getting settled in from the wedding and honeymoon?

tigerfish said...

rice with sambal belacan and egg...simple and shiok!

pigpigscorner said...

Chrystal & Amir: candlenut is commonly used in Malaysian cooking such as for curries and spicy food for its nutty taste. You can find it in oriental supermarkets.

katie: not too sure about the wetter jarred kind, but this comes in blocks. Wait till you fry it, it stinks up the whole place!

leemei:I got the candlenuts from new loon moon on the main chinatown street.

April Marie: this doesn't contain flour so I guess it's not a roux. suffering from post-wed and honeymoon syndrome..lol

Tangled Noodle said...

Oh wow! I want to try this; it looks particularly good with just the rice and egg. I've been starting to put chili sauce in everything although right now, it's only been sambal oelek. Sambal belacan is next!

Janice said...

thanks for awesome recipe pigpig! I made my first ever batch of sambal belacan and I am so loving it!

pigpigscorner said...

No problem Janice and thanks for the recipe! Glad you like it =) I'm down to my last bottle, can't wait to make more!

Sam said...

Great recipe! It looks delicious and really versatile too.

Anonymous said...

This recipe looks great. Does the lightly fried belacan ever go back into the pan after you take it out and put in the blended paste?

pigpigscorner said...

You add the fried belacan into the blended mix after you've fried the blended mix unil fragrant. I've made the amendment, sorry about that.

Anonymous said...

I tried out the recipe and it tastes great...we put it on everything! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hi there,where did you get your belacan? Thank you

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