Sambal belacan is a must-have Malaysian condiment and the key ingredients for many delicious Malaysian recipes.
In this sambal belacan recipe, you will find step-by-step photos and detailed method on how to make sambal belacan.
Sambal is a common condiment in Southeast Asia and India. Sambal is basically a concoction of chilies and spices. Sambal is used in many Southeast Asian and Indian dishes, to add heat and flavors to local dishes. Sambal can also be made into sambal sauce, which is great on protein such as chicken, fish or shrimp.
What is Sambal Belacan?
Sambal belacan is the Malaysian version of sambal. Sambal belacan consists of chilies, belacan (Malaysian shrimp paste), calamansi lime (limau kasturi), salt and sugar.
In the United States, calamansi lime is scarce so lime can be used as a substitute. However, calamansi lime is best for sambal as it adds amazing aroma and nuance to sambal belacan.
Belacan is the most important ingredient in sambal belacan. You have to toast the belacan in a skillet or wok like the picture below. The belacan should be toasted until it becomes dry and toasty, into tiny granules.
Sambal belacan as a condiment is something that I can’t do without. I eat my rice and noodles with it, and some Malaysian dishes such as my favorite sweet and sour eggs (masak belanda), Penang char hor fun, grilled fish with banana leaves are amazing with sambal belacan.
To make the best sambal belacan, you need a mortar and pestle like the picture below. You have to pound the ingredients by hand until it forms a nice and watery texture.
Here is how sambal belacan looks like. It’s red with a slightly runny texture, sort of like a sambal sauce. Use the condiment immediately or you may keep it in the fridge for a couple of days.
You may freeze it for a longer period and thaw to room temperature before using it.
This Recipe Goes Well with:
Recipes that Goes Well with Sambal Belacan:
Sambal Belacan Recipe
Sambal belacan is a Malaysian condiment and the basic building block for Malaysian food. The best sambal belacan recipe with easy step-by-step photo guide.
- 4 oz seeded chilies thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon belacan shrimp paste
- 1 - 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons Calamansi lime juice or lime juice
- Salt to taste
Clean chilies with running water, seeded and sliced. Transfer the chilies to a mortar.
Heat up a wok or pan on low heat and "toast" the belacan until aromatic. The texture of the belacan would turn dry and powdery after toasting. Transfer out and add to the chilies and start pounding with the pestle until fine. (Some people like their sambal belacan somewhat coarse so it's personal preference.)
Transfer out to a bowl, add salt and sugar to taste and add lime juice (or Calamansi lime juice). Blend well. You can keep the sambal in the refrigerator for a couple of days, or freeze in the freezer for a longer period.
If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you can use a mini food processor to grind everything. If you like extra fiery kick in your sambal, you can add a few bird's eye chilies.