Friday, December 2, 2011

Sambal Belacan

What type of sambal do you like best? But before you can answer, you would have to know what Sambal is.  Sambal is a chili based sauce which is popular in South East Asia and normally used as a condiment.  

 What do you think is the key ingredient for this fiery-kick tasty sambal?  There will be no sambal belacan without belacan aka shrimp paste  and it will not work with no fresh red chillies, they are both partners in crime. 

A Malay style sambal is what i am about to share with you.   Fresh red chilies are pounded together with toasted belacan(shrimp paste) in a stone mortar to which sugar and lime juice are added. Originally, limau kesturi or calamansi lime is used but since this is scarce outside of Southeast Asia,  green lime is used as a substitute.  My greatest find in the asian stores here in Denver is this calamansi juice in their freezer and now my homemade Sambal Belacan is no more adulterated with lime juice.  To make it more authentic, my wish fairy, Peng, bought me a stone mortar enabling me to pound away in rhythm and perfume the house with so much comfort(my comfort) but it can unpleasant and stinky to those who are not familiar.  Another good find is that roasted belacan is available and if i have a choice, i would prefer this to raw belacan. 

Thank you Peng for striking off this stone mortar from my wish list.  Before, the appearance of the stone mortar, i have been using the chopper or food processor and they made good acceptable sambal belacan but for textured sambal belacan, the stone mortar is the way to go.

 Ingredients :
3 fresh red chilies,cut into small pieces
10 chili padi/thai chillies(less if you cannot handle the heat)
1 tbsp toasted belacan
3 packs of frozen pure calamansi juice(more if you prefer)
1 tsp sugar
Salt to taste

With a stone mortar, start pounding the chilies - crush and pound with rhythm until chillies are crushed..

Add the roasted belacan and pound to combine into a paste.

Remove from mortar and add sugar, calamansi juice and salt to taste.

Serve with rice, noodle dishes or whatever you fancy, even on burgers.


Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

enjoy this sambal with roasted fish, just perfect!

Torviewtoronto said...

delicious sambal
lovely site nice to meet you

joosh said...

Lily, 3 packs of frozen pure calamansi juice is equivalent to how many ml?

Unknown said...


you don't have to have the exact amount of calamansi/lime/lemon juice added to the sambal. you can start with 2 tsp and taste to see if you like the sourness. The tartness differs from lime, lemon and calamansi, so adjust the juice accourding to your own taste

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