It has been very long since I last made my own sambal belacan, last week I have to make this sambal belacan thinking to go with the grilled calamari. Of course this condiment is good to go with plain rice too, a habit my mother and I always enjoyed. As I can't really take spicy food, I always make the sambal belacan more to the sweet and sour side with added tomatoes and lime juice. If you prefer more spicy version, just add more chili or chili padi (the small chilies)
This is the first time I use the blender to blend my chili paste, as my pounder is too small for this quantity. The pause function on the blender really did a good job.
2 stalks lemongrass, use the bottom part only, remove the outer layer, sliced the inner part
15 shallots, thinly sliced
3 big tomatoes, cut into cubes
2 tbsp belacan (dried shrimp paste)
8 big red chilies, seeded and sliced open at the middle
2~3 lime juice (to taste)
2~3 tbsp sugar (to taste)
3 small chili padi, seeded
2~3 tbsp water
4 tbsp cooking oil
1. Place the lemongrass, tomatoes, shallots, red chili, chili padi into the blender (if the blender is too small you may need to do this in batches). Add water, cover. Use the pause function to blend the spice paste. The paste no need to be smooth.
2. Fry the belacan without oil in a wok until is fragrant. Add cooking oil, add the spice paste that you have blended. Stir fry the spice paste for 15~20 mins until the oil separates from the mixture.
3. Add sugar, reduce the heat and let it simmer for another 2~3 mins. Remove from heat and add the lime juice. This sambal can be serve hot or cold.