Thursday, 30 January 2014

Sambal Belacan

Sambal Belacan is a condiment. It was originally created many decades ago when daily meals were much simpler; (steam white rice with fried fish/chicken). This condiment can be kept without the need to be chilled. Hence, one of the best condiment created at that time when fridge was not available. 
Today, Sambal Belacan was served as a starter with blanched vegetables like Okras, Aubergine and Long beans or eaten with raw young papayas and mangoes.
There are many versions of Sambal Belacan around. I personally love one with lots of green chilies instead of red. Green chilies produced a distinct earthy taste and the fragrant creates a different dimension from what we normally taste from red chilies sambal belacan.

For the star ingredient; Belacan, I prefer to use Penang Belacan instead of the Malacca ones, due to its pungent aroma and taste. 

Whats your version? Share in the comment below and I shall try your version :D

Sambal Belacan 
Prep time: 10mins

50gm Penang Belacan
50gm Fresh Green Chili
10gm Fresh Green Birdeye Chili (cili padi)
10gm Fresh Red Chili
10gm Fresh Red Birdeye Chili (cili padi)
Green lime (I prefer Indian lime or Limau Nipis in Malay. Some call it the 'Bartender lime' as its used to serve alongside cocktails like Margaritas or Martinis)

Sugar to taste
**No salt as Belacan is salty

Mortar & Pestle 
**I used food processor! Hehehe...

1) Break the belacan into small pieces/cubes. Toast the belacan in the oven or on a flat pan. Toast till all sides charred lightly and the surface a bit crispy. 
2) Pound all chilies and the belacan. I used the food processor as its hassle free..hehehe

3) Once done, pour in a bowl and mix in the sugar. I added the lime zest and a teaspoon of lime juice to add zing to the taste.

4) Stored in a sanitised container and kept chilled. Can be kept as long as a month. Due to its nature, many will bring this condiment along when travelling esp to Europe or USA. :D
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