Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sambal (Belacan) Chilli

I'm a 'lousy' Singaporean. Why? Majority of Singaporeans can take spicy food. Very spicy food. For me, the curry to go with Prata is considered spicy. :P I belong to the minority who just can't handle the heat very well.

Having said that, I do like spicy food a lot, accompanied by lots of water of course. So, for me, the best thing to do is to make and cook my own 'spicy' food, with spicy level set to the lowest. >.<

I have been using this simple sambal belacan for all my 'spicy' food. You can adjust the level of spiciness according to the chilli you add in. The maximum I have handle is level 2. Give me level 3 and I'll be filled with water. XD

This sambal belacan goes well with both veggies and seafood. I don't think I'll need more introduction on those dishes are. :) In fact, I just used it for my Grilled Squid yesterday. Even my son loved it and suggested I used it on stingray next. :)

So here's the easy peasy and handy recipe.

Sambal Chilli Paste before cooking


  • 6 Fresh Red Chilli
  • 12 Dried Chilli, soaked to soften (add with Fresh Red Chilli for level 2 spiciness)
  • 3 Chilli Padi (add with both Fresh and Dried Chilli for level 3 spiciness)
  • 3 Shallot
  • 3 clove Garlic
  • 1/3 tablespoon Belacan
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Salt to taste

    How to do it:
    1. Grind all ingredients for chilli paste, except for sugar and salt, together.
    2. Heat wok with 1/2 tablespoon of oil.
    3. Stir fry chilli paste till fragrant.
    4. Add sugar and salt to taste.
    5. Leave to cool.
    6. Ready to use.

    • I only keep the 'cooked' sambal for not more than 2 days.
    • If you want to make more of the sambal to keep, please follow the following steps:
    1. Chop the belacan and toast it on a pan till it's dry and powdery like.
    2. Add the toasted belacan to the rest of the ingredients, except sugar & salt.
    3. Blend it.
    4. Add sugar and salt to taste.
    5. Keep it air tight in the fridge for up to a week.
    • You can use this as an condiment with or without lime juice added.

      Sambal Belacan used on Grilled Squid


      1. Hi, belacan confuses me (I'm European!). Am I right in thinking that I should buy the type in a circular disc from the wet Market? And if I understand correctly, that if I'm using it straightaway I don't have to do the toasting process? Thanks for your help!

      2. Wow! I'm surprised an European will cook with belacan. Do you like it?

        There are many types of belacan. The one I used comes in a block form. You can get the circular type. No problem.

        If you are using right away, it is still better to cook/fry/toast it before adding other ingridents first, to be on the safer side. That's what I usually.