Friday, July 27, 2012

Simple Sambal Belacan Paste

Sambal, as we call it in Malaysia and Indonesia.  It is a must for some authentic Malay and Indonesian cooking.  There are many varieties of sambal in Indonesia and the one that is most popular in Malaysia, I would have to say is sambal belacan.  Belacan is a shrimp paste, made of dried shrimps, anchovies and salt.  Something that is definitely pungent for some people.  But with belacan, the result of one dish would both taste and smell heavenly!

This sambal belacan paste can be a base for many dishes.  Stir fry sambal belacan asparagus/kangkong/eggplant, sambal belacan prawns, sambal belacan grill fish(serve with lime, yumyum), oven baked sambal belacan chicken and more!  With some lime, it is also a wonderful condiment, for noodles, rice, etc...

Please have your door open, windows open while making this sambal belacan paste as the smell can fill the whole house.  I'm wondering if our 3 neighbours on the same floor in this apartment moved away has to do with this belacan!!! 

120g red chili, cut, seeds removed (I prefer smooth paste)
100g belacan
20 bird's eye chili/Thai chili
4 cloves garlic
120g red onions, cut
juice from half a lemon
3 tbsp cooking oil
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
makes about 2 cups of sambal belacan paste

1.  Traditionally this should be made using a stone mortar.  But I'm saving my time and energy and just blend them.  So chili, bird's eye chili, onions, garlic, belacan, lemon juice all dump into the blender and blend until smooth.

2.  In a small stainless pot, heat cooking oil over medium heat.  Pour the blended paste into the pot and cook for 15 minutes or so or when the colour turn dark red and oil started to float.  Add sugar and salt, give it a quick stir and turn off the heat.

Sambal belacan kangkong

                                                                                    oven baked sambal belacan chicken


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