Dried shrimp sambal or heé bee sambal (or heé bee hiam) in Hokkien is a spicy condiment that is loved by everyone (for those who know the existence of this dish. I can bet about that!). Grandma used to make dried shrimp sambal for us when we were young. But not anymore as cooking time is tedious and slow. An old lady cannot stand doing that. But when her granddaughter requested her to teach the recipe, she said YES! immediately. According to grandma it was her mom who taught her to make dried shrimp sambal. Awww I miss my great-grandma.
Together we make a good team; grandma and me. She ordering me around for the preparation and cooking and not forgetting the occasion huffs and puffs she gave out because yours truly was taking some time snapping pictures of the process. Hahaha
Before you proceed, I need to tell you something: You will need a lot of patience and time if you plan to make this. 😛 Patience because you need to stir-fry the ingredients almost non-stop. Time because you need about 1 hour of cooking time. Hehehe But worry not, once you’re done you will have a month supply of dried shrimp sambal!
First thing first,
Next is the dried chili.
Next, peel garlic and shallots. Rinse well too.
Next blend dried chilies (with some water) and garlic & shallots.
Store in a clean, dry and air-tight jar once cool. This is a 1L jar which fits just perfectly. If you’re not going to finish this jar by 2 weeks it’s best to keep in the fridge (if your place is warm) or you can return it to the wok and stir-fry it again to prevent molding.
You can also use this recipe to make mini dried shrimp sambal spring roll for Chinese New Year.
If you’re not a spicy person, just lessen the dried chili quantity.
Grandma’s Dried Shrimp Sambal
280g dried shrimp, remove shell, soaked and rinsed
185g shallots, peeled
40g garlic, peeled
40g dried chili, remove seed and rinsed
1 1/2 tamarind peel
2 tablespoon sugar
oil (vegetable or palm)
1. Blend soften dried shrimp in 2 to 3 rounds (since the quantity is a lot) to a coarse texture. Add some water before blending. Set aside.
2. Blend dried chili to a paste. Add a little water so it can blend well. Put aside as well.
3. Blend garlic and shallots to a paste.
4. Heat wok and add oil (enough to cover blended garlic and shallots paste).
5. In medium heat, stir-fry garlic and shallots paste until fragrant. [For me it took about 14 minutes.]
6. Add chili paste and again stir-fry until aromatic. [For me it took about 6 minutes]
7. Finally add blended dried shrimp and stir-fry.
8. Add sugar and tamarind peels about 5 minutes later.
9. Add some oil if it’s too dry. Remember you need to continue working with the ingredients (stir-fry) so that it won’t stick to the wok. Fry until it is very dry. [For me it took about 36 minutes from adding blended dried shrimp to completion]
10. Remove tamarind peel once you’re done.
11. Transfer dried shrimp sambal to a tray and leave to cool.
12. Once cool, store in a clean, dry and air-tight jar.
Enjoy the sweat! 😛