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Oct 2, 2010

Sambal Belacan/Shrimp Paste Chilli Sauce

This is the stuff that heaven is made of ..... or not. I don't suppose everyone will agree with me on that one.
Every nyonya home must have a ready supply of sambal belacan, anytime, anyday. This is one condiment that will knock your socks off. And if it doesn't, it's not good enough.
I've added some bird's eye chillies in the blend as I find today's red chillies lacking oomph. Does anyone else notice that or is it just me? Maybe my tastebuds have gone numb from all the years of being chillified.

You really need good quality belacan / shrimp paste. The below par ones are not worth getting ... just a bunch of salt and what else, I dare not mention.

Unfortunately, there are no exact measurements for the ingredients of this recipe. As I have mentioned earlier, it all depends on the heat of the chillies and your tastebuds. The end result should be a good balance of heat, saltiness and tartness. Some people prefer a bit more of the shrimp paste taste (the result will turn out darker) and some may just want a hint of it. So adjust as you go along... buzz, taste, add, buzz, taste ....
Even the texture varies. My mum prefers it to be coarser and complains mine is a little too refined. It's all up to you.

Easy peasy....


Red chillies (10 - 15 large chillies should yield about 200g of sauce)
Bird's eye chillies, optional
Shrimp paste, toasted / shrimp paste granules
Calamansi lime juice, to taste / tamarind paste diluted with some water


Just plonk everything into a blender or food processor and buzz into the texture of your choice. Have a taste every now and then to decide if you need to add more ingredients.

* Goes great with Tau Yew Bak (Soy sauce pork), fried noodles, fried rice, whatever suits your fancy.



  1. I cannot live without sambal belachan. I like the belachan from Penang and Melaka. They make great sambal. Great pic!

  2. Thanks! Yup, same here, can't live without it.

  3. Hi Ping! Checking out your blog in more detail (hope my boss don't catch me). You are right, tau yew bak must have sambal belacan. My Mum insists that the sambal belacan made using blender is not as "fragrant" as the one whizzed in blender. Do you agree ?

    1. Hi Phong Hong! Sorry for the late reply ... have been away for awhile. Yeah, the old school mums always say the sambal pounded in a mortar and pestle beats any of the "machined" ones hands down ... and it has to be the old style mortar and pestle too, not the modern marble or fancy ones. Ayo!