Sambal Belacan

Sambal Belacan – extra hot spicy side dish to make your day!

Most Malaysians love pungent, hot and spicy food. To spice up Malay meal that goes with the rice, many would opt for a side dollop dish of ‘sambal belacan’, or a spicy hot chilli paste similar to sauce or dip – the spicier and hotter the ‘sambal belacan’, the better it is. The most common is obviously ‘sambal belacan’ – made of pounded long red chilli, bird’s eye chilli, dried & fermented shrimp paste, with a dash of lime juice, tamarind juice for the tang and a pinch of salt.

Some of ‘sambal belacan’ ingredients
Sambal belacan ingredients are mashed and pounded using stone pestle and mortar

Sambal is normally taken with slices of cucumber or raw vegetables or herbal leaves (referred to as ‘ulam’ in Malay language). These are eaten similar to like salad with the ‘sambal belacan’ as a relish sauce or dip. There are also many variations of ‘sambal belacan’. At Selera Malaysia Bistro, we offer sambal belacan as side dish, serve with slices of cucumber. In addition, Selera also offer other variations: sambal hijau (mashed green chilli with the assortments), sambal bilis (mashed chilli, anchovies with its assortments), sambal tomato (mashed chilli, tomato and its assortments), sambal nanas (mashed chilli, pineapple and its assortments) and many more.

Sambal Hijau

Sambal Tomato

Sambal Nenas

Sambal Bilis

BEWARE… sambal belacan is extra hot spicy, perhaps may not be suitable for the faint-hearted.

Note:  Many believe that hot and spicy food can cause stomach problems and worsened ulcers. However, based on research done by, hot and spicy food may be good for you as it actually protects the stomach lining and help your stomach produce less gastric acid, if eaten in moderation. Yes, they will make you feel a burning sensation upon consumption, but this is only because you need to build tolerance. You never know… sambal belacan may be love at the first bite!