Ahhh sambal belacan. Just hearing the name will delight me. I’ve been a big fan of sambal belacan every since I learned to read. Used to eat lots of sambal belacan when I was young but I’ve toned it down a lot since I’m no longer a young kid. That’s because belacan or dried shrimp paste can be very ‘tok’ (Cantonese; can’t think of the word in English) and cause allergy if eaten a lot. This is according to my grandma and mom. Moderation is the key here. Sambal belacan is a must have condiment in Malaysia’s cuisine. As belacan itself is salty, this Nyonya recipe doesn’t require you to add salt but you can add sugar (optional) to give it a twist.
Bought the belacan block from East & West Rendezvous Cafe when I visited Melaka couple of months back. Its color is unlike any belacan color you see in the shop which is usually dark brown in color. I’m guessing this belacan is the original color.
Red chilies and toasted belacan. Slice the red chilies so it’s easier to pound. Also I choose to remove the chili seeds because it can be difficult to pound. Besides that, the seed will make the sambal belacan more spicy.
Adapted from Nyonya Flavours
8 red chilies, deseed (slice finely for easy pounding)
40g belacan, toasted
3 tablespoons calamansi lime (limau kasturi)
sugar to taste (optional)
1. Pound sliced red chilies and toasted belacan together to the desired consistency. Add sugar if using.
2. Add lime juice just before serving.
Keep the leftovers in the fridge. It can be kept for few weeks if store properly in an air-tight clean container.