Belacan is dried shrimp paste cake. The smell of roasted belacan is truly disgusting but what a taste you will enjoy a few minutes later!
Belacan is made from tiny shrimps and call shrimp paste. It us one of the important ingredients in Malaysian cooking. Fishermen catch the shrimps, drain them of water, salt them immediately, then dry them on huge metal-beds placed on low stilts. The salt and decaying shrimps will eventually combine into a semi-solid tightly compacted pulp. The pulp is then pressed through a mill and passed out as thread-like paste.
One Block of Belacan
Sambal is a condiment popular in South India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the southern Philippines and Sri lanka, as well as the Netherlands through Indonesian influence, and in Suriname.
Malaysia’s famous Sambal Belacan – a dipping sauce made of freshly ground chilies, belacan & lime juice…..Malay style sambal. Chili is pounded together with toasted Shrimp paste (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’ (leafy herbs) in a meal of rice and other dishes. A Malaysian-Chinese version is to fry belacan with chili.
Recipe of Sambal Belacan
1 cup red chile
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup salt
1 tablespoon belacan (A Malay food item consisting of a paste of prawns and small fish)
1/2 lemon (take the juice)
Directions Bake belacan for 2 minutes
Add all ingredients (together with baked belacan and baked onion) into blender then blend it
Ready to serve
- Approximately 400 grammes of kangkong. Separate leaves from stem. Cut stems to reasonable bite sizes
- 50 grammes of belacan (shrimp paste)
- 50 grammes of dried shrimps (pre-soaked in about 150 ml of water. Do not throw away the water)
- 5 bulbs of shallots
- 5 bulbs of garlic
- 4 to 8 red chillis (remove seeds if you want the dish to be less spicy)
- 4 tablespoons of cooking oil (preferably palm oil)
Prepare belacan mix as follows. Pound belacan, dried shrimps, shallots, garlic and chilli in a mortar pound / blend them.
Heat oil in wok till smoke appears from wok. Add oil (which should be heated up substantially). Add belacan mix and stir quickly whilst reducing to medium heat. Do not burn the belacan mix.
Once belacan mix is fragrant and slightly brown, increase heat to high and add kangkong. Stir briskly and add a little water (from the water used to soak dried prawns) if the dish is too dry for your liking. Once kangkong is slightly limp, it is ready for serving.
I usually do not add any seasoning as the belacan and dried shrimps are quite salty in itself.
Shared by Camelia