Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sambal Belacan Paste

I found out I still have a large bag of dried whole pepper from my mom when I was preparing food for my BBQ party 2 weeks ago.Actually I requested my mom to get me some dried whole pepper when I visited Malaysia last year. But now some of the dried whole pepper almost changed to pale color ..Well, I better make full use of them before I have to trash away the whole fried pepper that I bring home across the ocean and mountain!! Luckily when I was at JFK airport ,the custom didn't check my luggage at all.Thanks God!! You must wonder why I bring whole dried pepper all the way from Malaysia,right? Of course,in US and A we do have whole dried pepper but it's Thai's whole dried pepper which is very hot and spicy..Recently I found another type of whole dried pepper (cayenne pepper I believed) at South America's grocery store ,look similar like the whole dried pepper that I bought from Malaysia..As usual I like to cook my own sambal belacan paste in advance for keeper..I can use this paste to cook with any type of curry dishes,chili dishes like seafood and vegetable...If you're miss hot and spicy food like me..why not try to make your own sambal paste at home..Honestly it's better than any prepacked paste selling on supermarket rack out there!!
one block of belacan (shrimp paste) 250 gm

blended fresh chili and whole dried chili mixture
prepare a clean stainless steel skillet to fry belacan...advisable not non-stick wok or skillet..As usual I cook my sambal belacan outdoor on my BBQ grill side stove to prevent the strong fragrant in the whole house
after frying belacan, dish out ,set aside then fried lemongrass mixture with oil in skillet fry lemongrass mixture until fragrant
then mix in blended chili paste into the lemongrass mixture
keep frying the chili and lemongrass mixture with cooking oil at medium high heat until fragrant
then add in fried belacan into the chili paste,mix well
keep frying
until the chili oil floated on the surface
then add in sugar and sea salt into the sambal pasta mixture
keep frying until the color change to deep dark red and oil separated from the paste
check the seasoning before remove from heat,let it cool completely before store in air tight container..
In fridge is about 2-4 weeks
In Freezer is up to 1 year
200 gm dried whole long pepper( if you like extra spicy add more pepper)
100 gm dried whole small pepper (thai's pepper),remove the stump
2 lbs fresh whole long pepper (remove the stump)
6-8 stalks lemongrass, slice thin up to 2/3 of the stalk :the green and woody part.
4-5 bulbs fresh garlic,peeled
1 lb shallot,peeled
2 inch fresh turmeric
3 inch galangal
2 inch fresh ginger
1 cup candlenut,washed
2 cups cooking oil
*blend above ingredients with oil until fine*
250 gm belacan, cut pieces for pan fried both side,not burn
2 cups sugar or to taste
5 tbsp sea salt or to taste
1 cup cooking oil
* For the method refer to above photos*
Previously I cooked some sambal belacan paste with Charcoal's BBQ pit.Check it out HERE!!!


Cindy Khor said...

yup, me and my boyfriend used to make sambal belacan and stash them up. we can't find any ready made ones here in uk. and making sambal is really time consuming therefore we make them in loads.

tigerfish said...

Look at those red chili and belacan blocks! Deadly...but superb!

sue said...

Wow, Lesley, your sambal belacan looks so inviting..My hubby have been bugging me to make some, but I have not been well lately..he will drool if he see your sambal..actually what is the difference between sambal tumis and sambal belacan? Which is the sambal you add the dried shrimp?

Angie's Recipes said...

Never seen those before...what do you usually serve them with? Like Western liver pate? I would love to spread some on my bread now....My husband like to spread the liver pate on his rye bread, with freshly ground black pepper.

My Asian Kitchen said...

Cindy,don't UK asian store carry Tean's or Delimas brand? They are not bad paste if you don't have the time to make your own sambal.

oh yes!!DEADLy and Yummy!! I love this paste ,can cook with everything and anytime!!

Take care of yourself first before making this deadly spicy!! Sambal tumis is without lemongrass ,candalnuts and galangal..More on shallot and not much ingredients compare with this sambal..This sambal you can use it to cook curry dish ,tomyam and etc..sambal tumis you can eat it as it's with Nasi Lemak..

this paste is popular spicy and hot paste for us Malaysian who use it to cook curry and spicy food.It's not like Pate Liver...Just dish few tbsp when cooking curry or spicy dishes and within minutes our dishes ready to eat...I guess these days we like to cook easy method.I remember when I was young whenever my mom want to cook curry ,only at that time she have to prepare the spices or wonder it's took hours to cook for festival or prayer..

Nilmandra said...

I would love to sample your sambal belacan, it looks awesome. Too bad I don't have an outdoor kitchen here because I certainly cannot cook this in my open plan apartment!

noobcook said...

nice nice! It's high time I learn to make my own paste too, currently using those bottled type :P I wish I have an open area to stir fry the paste :P

My Asian Kitchen said...

Thanks for dropping by and kind words..Yes,I know how it's when you cook this deadly spices in confine apt..

don't worried,as long as you like the spicy paste in bottled,that fine..I bet you can get homemake sambal from aunties aunties at your area..if you can't make your self at home..

pigpigscorner said...

Hi lesley! your recipe is amazing!

Anonymous said...

This is a highly recommended recipe for sambal belacan. I made it for a family gathering and it became an instant hit! It inspired so many people to come with ideas of dishes that would be excellent with this fiery paste. Thank you beachlover!

Anonymous said...

love your sambal belacan but what can i substitute for fresh chili. i live in US southern part which not easy to get fresh chili.

My Asian Kitchen said...

Thank you for your kind words:) I cook almost everything wt this paste!!

fresh chili is also know as whole long pepper..mostly all the whole long pepper come to NY are from the ASouth like Fl and Cali..hope this help:)

imel said...

can't find fresh big red chli here, where did u buy, it In USA, I been in singapore before and I love it when i go to market buy this sambal, coz I can make many deferent food with it. terimakasih fr the post..for sure i'll try it tomorrow..even can't find big fres chili

cpen said...

You have one part of your sambal belachan recipe where you fry lemon grass mixture. But, I note that lemon grass already blended with chillies. Where do I get the lemon grass mixture - don't see any other lemon grass ingredients separate from the blended ingredients. This is the only part that is holding me up from trying to make this sambal belachan.

A. Rizzi said...

that sounds like one complex tasting sambal! nice work.

Shu Han said...

wow that is one massive batch of sambal belachan! thanks for the recipe! are the lemongrass and candlenuts and galangal necessary? I've seen recipes omitting those.. what would you say are the "must have" in this recipe? I would love to try this out but i stay in london now, and it's hard getting hold fo certain ingredients ):

Anonymous said...

sambal beachan is best with giblets or marinara mix...

Maggie KL said...

Hi Leslie, can you give me the recipe for cooking sambal belacan with dried shrimp. Really appreciate it if you could. I was a Malaysian living in NYC for 30 yrs before moving to Washington State in 2009. Name is Maggie. Hope to hear from you soon. Email is

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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 beachlover1917atyahoodotcom. To know more about my life or my kitchen you can always hop over to my other 2 blog.