Sambal Terasi/Sambal Belacan (Chili Shrimp Paste)

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Sambal plays a very important part in of the Southeast Asian food especially Malaysian and Singaporean food, Indonesian food and also a small part in the Filipino food too. It can be act as an ingredient/seasoning for most of the curry dishes and also a side dish as a condiment/as a dip. This is one of my favorite condiments for chicken, noodles, pork, seafood and fish and many else.

It is very easy to make and you can make it spicy or mild depending what kind of chilies you use. Terasi in English is shrimp cake/paste and you can only get this ingredient only from the Oriental/Asian store. Well, not everyone will like this sambal because of the terasi in it as it has a very strong pungent smell. Most of the westerners are unable to consume this dish due to the smell but to the Southeast Asian and their neighboring countries love it very much and can’t live without this sambal. It is like some cheeses that is very strong and pungent the Southeast Asians could not eat them. Anyway, if you like to try this, you can simply omit the terasi (shrimp cake/paste).

Well, please be easy with the amount of chilies if you are not use to the heat, simply reduce the quantity of the chilies.



5 tablespoons canola/vegetable/corn oil

15 red bird’s eye chilies (Chili paddy)

1 small habanero

4 red finger chilies, cut into 3 segments

3 shallots, peeled

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1½ tablespoons terasi (shrimp cake), toasted

1½ teaspoons raw sugar

1½ teaspoons salt

5 tablespoon calamansi (Asian lime)/lime juice (I need to use frozen calamansi juice as living in the States, some of places are unable to get the fresh calamansi but you can use fresh lime too)



In a food processor/mortar, add bird’s eye chilies, habanero, red finger chilies, shallots, garlic, toasted shrimp cake (terasi), raw sugar and salt. Pulse until all becomes smooth in a paste. Remove and store in a mason jar and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Serve with some calamansi or lime juice.

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