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Homemake Fried Sambal Belacan Step by Step

Last month when I was in Queens.NYC Chinatown food shopping with Gertruda and Zuriada ,we saw a vendor stall at the road side selling fresh red pepper a.k.a red long chili for bargain!.A plate only for $1.00!! it's about 15 pieces of red pepper per plate.Good deal ,right?.I quickly ask for 2 plates with out bargain and the seller in return throw extra few red peppers in my plastic bag.She asked me,what am I going to do with all the red pepper?.Well I told her we are going to make chili paste or use it to cook with our exotic food...Actually I bought this huge bag of red long pepper and plan to make sambal belacan paste to store for this winter.Let me show you step by step how I make sambal belacan..
I washed all the red long pepper ,let it dry before cut for blending or pounding
This is how the final product look like Bought a large piece of belacan(shrimp paste) at Asian store in NYC..I make sure it's Made in Penang ,Malaysia.First of all, I cut and mashed the belacan before fry on a wok over an open fire ,BBQ pit to be precise.I guess all my neighbours is pinching their nose when this pungent smell belacan flying and landed at their yard! To many Westerners unfamiliar with this condiment, the smell can be extremely repulsive.
This is how I fried fresh belacan over BBQ pit.I fried the belacan until it's dried and fine.The truth to the matter belacan have distinguish pungent or unique smell.It's really powerful and intolerant to others who are not used to it.The aroma from the frying mixture can be unpalatable to Westerners who have not become accustomed to it, but is an absolute delight to the Asian connoisseur.Learn more about this pungent but taste extremely good here
This is the final look of fried belacan.After cool down I store the fried belacan in a Ziploc bag and then close in a air tight container.
Then prepared ingredients for spices. Sliced galangal,ginger and fresh turmeric for blending or pounding
Soaked garlic and shallot overnight before peel off the skin.The reason for soaking overnight is for easy peeling.I used to cry and rubbing my eyes with tears when peeling shallot or onion but not after soaking those in cold water overnight!
Soaked and wash candle nuts before blending .Candle nuts give your paste some nutty flavor especially when you cook curry .
Wash and sliced lemongrass before blending
I blended half of garlic,shallot,ginger,turmeric,lemongrass,candle nut and oil for the 1st batch.I freeze this lemongrass spices for marination later ..You can use this spices to make satay or non spicy lemonade flavor food.
Then add in this clean red long pepper,stump cut off to blend with the 2nd batch of spices..
This is the second batches of spices mix with red long pepper.I also add sugar,salt and fried belacan into this blended spices.
Again,I slowly sauteed the blended spices with fried belacan on this charcoal BBQ pit at my patio,outdoor.The reason I cook this spicy shrimp paste with chili outdoor is to prevent all closets and rooms in the house from getting this contagious strong pungent smell .Believe me this special flavor paste will confine in the house for days if you cook it in door!!
This sambal belacan paste is ready to use.I use it to make curry or any sambal dished in minutes.It's really handy for me to cook any meal,any time without pounding and peeling .If I need to make rendang(dry curry) I just add curry powder ,kerisik(grilled coconut flake)and daun limau purut ( kaffir lime leaves) to infuse into any dishes. If I need to cook spicy fish or seafood sambal ,I just scoop the amount needed and add in some tamarind juice and other vegetables.Although I still have plenty of prepack paste but I still prefer my own homemade sambal belacan paste.I think the key and secret ingredients that make our spicy food taste sooooo good is that evil belacan(shrimp paste)! It's taste Heavenly awesome! You can see my other sambal recipe HERE .Although,the process to make this sambal belacan take few hours to make,in my honest opinion it's worth it!! No preservative or any artificial flavour added!



SIG said...
September 23, 2008 at 3:47 AM

tk u so much for sharing with us step-by-step how to prepare the sambal. I love it!

tigerfish said...
September 23, 2008 at 4:02 AM did you have any complaints from neighbours? :P

Dhanggit said...
September 23, 2008 at 6:03 AM

nothing beats homemade stuffs :-) this sambal looks hot!! hehee

Lianne said...
September 23, 2008 at 6:14 AM

oh myyyy, this is killing me! I have all the ingredients except for galangal and tumeric. will it taste good i wonder, if can ah .. i will make a biggg pot and keep in the freezer loh ...

noobcook said...
September 23, 2008 at 10:52 AM

wahhh... this is incredible, amazing *bookmarked* ... is the pungent smell the reason why u make it outdoors? very clever, hehe

ICook4Fun said...
September 23, 2008 at 1:46 PM

Lesley, I cook my chili paste but it didn't turn out as dark as yours. I have to cook this inside the house so I didn't put any belachan in it. I really feel bad for your neighbors. They must be wondering what kind of smell is that :) :)

Nilmandra said...
September 23, 2008 at 5:25 PM

Wow I can imagine the aroma wafting through your neighbourhood that day! Although I can imagine the Causasian neighbours thinking 'what the hell is that smell???' LOL :) Great recipe. Unfortunately we don't have an outdoor cooking area and a completly open plan living/kitchen area. The entire apartment will smell of sambal belacan for ages! Looking at your pics make me drool though.

_ts of [eatingclub] vancouver said...
September 23, 2008 at 5:36 PM

Haha... you have to resort to cooking it outdoors! I tried making a belado recently. Will post about it... eventually. =)

Little Corner of Mine said...
September 23, 2008 at 7:21 PM

The end product looks so tempting!

Mochachocolata Rita said...
September 23, 2008 at 10:13 PM

oh wow, i loveee all the flavor combo in this sambal! i can finish a whole pot of rice with this and krupuk

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...
September 24, 2008 at 11:41 PM

I can imagine the stench of the belachan. . .but it's a good stench and the final product is oh so delicious.

Tastes of Home said...
September 25, 2008 at 1:07 AM

YUMMY I love belacan!!! and I will try the way you do it too.

pingmouse said...
September 26, 2008 at 12:51 AM

walau... sambal belacan over hot coal. Definitely will be more aromatic compared to gas stove way :) Does Mishu take spicy food??

Beachlover said...
September 26, 2008 at 8:05 PM

U welcome.I love to add XXXX belacan!!

No,I think my neighbour just curse me at my back! lol!

Yes,it's really spicy which I love!!

My mom in KL also store her sambal in frezzer.I think nowdays everybody to do the simply and easier way.When you store the spices in frezzer the temp stop the food from getting bad fast and prevent flavor from evaporated.

Thank you:))
Yes,I prefer to cook this dish outdoor coz my kitchen is open no closed door .

I think I cook too well done plus the belacan color make it's look darker.The upside is when I cook other dish wt this spices I don't have to tumis the sambal longer.

thank you:)
lol!...i think my neighbor must be cursing me!!..oh!! at least my hubby didn't complaint anymore!He used to mu pungent food!!lol!

i'm looking forward your belodo.I think it's Filipino version of belacan,right?

Thank you:))

taste at home:
thank you:))I think by doing this save me time in winter

yes ,my kwai mui love spicy food!I feed her spicy food the moment she start solid food!

Zue Murphy said...
September 28, 2008 at 12:17 PM

Beautiful sambal. I am still not brave enough to grill belacan outside. Dulu pernah buat once and the neighbor asked my husband if we have rats died in the house.

Beachlover said...
September 30, 2008 at 4:00 AM

hahaha!! your neighbour really ask that!!!wow!! I wonder how Murphy reply !

Puteri said...
October 1, 2008 at 2:56 PM

Haha, if I were to dry fry my belacan outside right now, there'll be a swarm of flies around me attracted by the stinky smell!!

I think I should give this sambal a try. It doesn't sound that difficult!

Anonymous said...
October 3, 2008 at 4:21 PM

This looks so good! Could you tell me where you bought your ingredients in Queens?

Beachlover said...
October 6, 2008 at 2:52 AM

I think right now the weather is coooler,no flies will attack you!! lol!Give it a try,I'm sure you like it!

You can get the ingrendiets at Hong Kong supermarket or any asian grocery store in Elmhurst..E mail me or let me know if u have more question

SW said...
June 19, 2009 at 2:08 AM

Let me share with you my simple version of sambal belacan :D

Fresh belacan the size of thumb.
Minced garlic and shallot(as much as you like but the more the better)
Cili padi (Don't know what you call dat, is it Thai chili?)
Red long chili, also minced (take out the seeds too if you dont like it)
Limau kasturi, juiced (at least half a glass)

Mix belacan and kasturi juice together until the belacan become diluted (lime juice also can be used but taste a bit bitter).

Heat oil in a wok. Dont use too much oil tho.
Put in garlic, shallot, cili padi and red long chili together and fry till its a bit browny.
Put in the belacan + juice and continue frying for the next 3-5 minutes (continuously stir).

After that it's ready to be served.

calvin said...
October 21, 2009 at 1:45 PM

Please do send me your email or Phone number to my email at

really need someone to teach me how to make this sambal belacan. will pay you a price that you name helping me in mastering this home made sambal belacan.

Anonymous said...
July 20, 2010 at 12:41 AM

Your English needs some improvement, I think. I find it hard to comprehend some sentences. Oh dear...

Anonymous said...
October 24, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Would you consider posting the amounts of the ingredients that you used (I can handle vague amounts but I'm not that good at deciding how much of a listed ingredient to add without some kind of guideline)?

Thank-you; I have been searching for a good belecan sambal sauce and I'm not afraid to gross out the neighbours. lol

Anonymous said...
June 11, 2012 at 1:56 AM

am i missing something here? there are no mentioning of the ingredient portion for the recipe??

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About the Author:

Hi!! My name is Lesley and I'm a simple SAHM(stay at home mom) who currantly live in Long Island,New York with my daughter Mishu and hubby Eliot .I'm Malaysian who live in US and A for many many moon and I'm also a person who love to eat, cook and bake. If you have any suggestions ,questions or comments please feel free to email me at beachlover1917(at)yahoo(dot)com. To know more about my life or my kitchen you can always hop over to my other 2 blog.