Sambal Belacan is our fridge must-have seasoning sauce. No matter eat with fried noodle, fried rice or stir fry with vegetables, it always a great match. It is a very tasteful Malaysian hot sauce.
We always heard from older say that hand-pounded chilli is more delicious, and the charcoal roasted Belacan is more fragrant. Just like traditional chives Chinese pancakes, Sambal Belacan in different races family do have their secret recipe. I think that makes the taste so interesting while having it for different food.
My grandma living by the sea and neighbourhood had a Belacan factory. In my childhood memory, always smells something salty and fishy in the air while enjoying my holidays at grandma house and my mom always wanted to wash again all my clothes when I reached home. However, Belacan is the important ingredients for Sambal. Without Belacan just like them without soul.
Different recipes of Sambal around the world
From internet information, In Indonesia, there are as many as 212 to 300 varieties of Sambal. The intensity ranges from mild to very hot. For Malaysia, we usually use fresh chillies, toasted shrimp paste (Belacan) in a stone mortar, then pound together and add some sugar and Calamansi lime juice. Tomatoes are optional ingredients. And Sri Lanka cuisine Sambal that includes onion, crumbled Maldive fish and spices as its main ingredients. Its name, also spell as “Sini Sambol”, is deriving from the local word for “sugar”.
Sambal is often described as Indonesian relish and it was indeed developed within Indonesia. However, its main ingredient, chilli pepper of the genus capsicums, is not native to Southeast Asia. Common variants used in Sambal recipes include Cayenne pepper and green chilli pepper. These variants are native to the Western and were introduced to Indonesia in the 16th century. By Portuguese and Spanish sailors during the Columbian exchange.
Sambal Belacan (Charcoal Roasted)
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- Toast or Roasted the Belacan, Cherry Tomatoes, Garlic and Shallot until fragrant.
- Pour some hot water to Limau Purut Leaf to make it cooked and fragrant.
- Put diced chili into stone pounder, then add in roasted belacan, Cherry Tomatoes, Garlic and Shallot. Pound until fine.
- Add in Calamansi juice, palm sugar and sea salt.
- Mix well and ready to serve.