Homemade Sambal Chili with Dried Shrimps

Ben found a pack of belachan in the store room. I must have bought it a while ago but reluctant to cook it as it will stink up the apartment.

Ben decided to use it to make some Sambal Belachan with Dried Shrimps as a condiment for rice or noodle dishes. We love sambal belachan but making it at home will require me to burn a lot of scented candles to get rid of the smell.


  • 50g dried shrimps (soaked in 1 cup of water, reserved soaking liquid)
  • 200g shallots
  • 30g garlic
  • 20g ginger
  • 1/4 cooking oil
  • 25g dried chili – hydrated (deseeded if you do not want it to be too spicy)
  • 150g fresh chili (deseeded if you do not want it to be too spicy)
  • 4 stalks of lemongrass (use white part only)
  • 50g dried toasted belacan
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Another reason Ben is able to make the sambal belachan is we managed to find fresh red chilies in the groceries stores like T&T.

Source: Spice N’ Pans


Re-hydrate the dried chili until soften and remove seeds if desired.
Soak the dried shrimps for 20 minutes and strain the liquid, reserving it for later use.

Use a food processor to grind the dried shrimp into a course grind.

Prepare the shallot, garlic and ginger paste in the food processor with a 1/4 cup of oil.

Remove for later use.

In the same food processor, add the fresh chilies, lemon grass, toasted belachan and 1 cup of the soaking liquid of the dried shrimps. Spread out evenly and processed until a fine grind.
Heat up a wok or a deep frying pan in medium heat, add 1/2 cup of cooking oil and when the oil is heated, add the shallot paste. Fry untilĀ  fragrant and you can see the oil rise up in the paste.
Add in the chili paste and dried shrimps.
Fry on medium heat until the chili is dried, stirring often. It takes about an hour to get to the dried consistency and dark colour that we like.
Add the sugar to balance the taste.

Let cool and store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

Ben was very delighted at the success of this recipe.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. jenny

    Keep a bottle of white vinegar open at all times in the kitchen and that will take away the smell of all types of cooking

    1. suannechowtimes

      Yes, I have a bottle of white vinegar on my stove all the time.

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