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Monday, April 16, 2007

Sambal Belacan


Sambal Belacan
A Malay style sambal. Chilli is pounded together with a little toasted belacan in a stone mortar. Tomatoes are optional ingredients. Sometimes, sweet sour mangoes or equivalent local fruits are added. Salt, sugar and lime juice are the last items added. Eaten with cucumbers or 'ulam' (local leafy herbs) to add zing to a meal of rice and other dishes. A Malaysian Chinese version is to fry belacan with chilli.

There's no other thing that compliments the simplest meal of white rice and fried ikan kembong other than sambal belacan with ulam. Doesn mean that you cannot have your sambal belacan with your rice if you're having anything but simple meal!

Mmy friends have been asking me for a "malay"-style sambal belacan. Apparently there's a malay-style sambal belacan and I didn even know it. lol!

Ok. This is how I make my sambal belacan here in the US. The reason why I said, "here in the US" is because its not easy to find red chili (cili hidup) and there's no limau kasturi either. The size of the red chili is also only half or 1/3 of what Im used to back home.

5 red chili
3 thai chili
1/2sq inch of belacan
2 teaspoon sugar
A pinch of salt
2 tablespoon lime juice


If you have a mortar & pestle, you can use it to pound all the ingredients. I do have them but minre is too small so what I normally do is to grind the chilies in the food processor and then only I transfer them. I still use the mortar & pestle to pound the rest of the ingredients. If you find it too hot, play around with the amount of sugar, salt & lime juice until you like what you're tasting. Like I said before, the same thing made by 2 different ppl will not taste the same.

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