SPICEGASM.COM My travel tales and food hunting

April 7, 2011

Sambal belacan is a super spicy dip

Filed under: Food,Philippines,Recipe — Alex @ 12:37 am

Is been almost 3 months I did not make a post on my blog. Not that anyone would really care though…LOL. I’ve been busy on working some projects for clients and did not find the time to travel as much as I would like. I’m still in the Philippines and hope to get back into making more posts.

So here is a post on how to make “Sambal Belacan”. Is a kind of spicy dip similar to Thai’s version of spicy dip call “Namprik”. Sambal Belacan is mostly popular in Singapore and Malaysia among the Malays. The Malays usually eat Sambal Belacan with fried chicken, fish, seafood and raw vegetables.


  • One small piece of belacan ( refer to picture below )
  • One pack of bird’s eye chili ( cili padi )
  • 6 pieces of bell pepper ( no big red chili in the Philippines )
  • one onion roasted lightly
  • salt ( one teaspoon )
  • sugar ( one teaspoon )
  • 6 kalamansi
  • fish sauce ( patis ) – 1 teaspoon


  • chopped bell pepper to blending size ( throw seeds away )
  • remove stem from bird’s eye chili
  • cut kalamansi into halves and squeezed juice and set aside
  • shred kalamansi skin to smaller bits
  • roast belacan till dry and fragrant
  • roast onion lightly
  • put everything into blender and add little bit of water together with the kalamansi juice that was set aside ( too much water will affect the taste of sambal belacan )
  • press start and blend ingredients till paste like
  • done!

The Ingredients for Sambal Belacan

Roasting the belacan with low fire

Roasting the onion

My favorite part - ready to grind

Everything blended

Glorious sambal belacan

For those who are not used to eating spicy food, Sambal Belacan might look like food for crazy people. In Malaysia and Singapore, this dip is almost like a must have. When I was in the midst of preparing this dip, I can’t help but to imagine who actually invented it. It really amazes me that the person whom invented this dip had the idea to mix all these ingredients. I am sure a lot of trial and error were involved to whip out the best tasting sambal belacan.

It has all the flavors that a human tongue can taste. Sourish from the kalamansi, spiciness from the chili, salt, sugar and belacan taste I can’t even really describe. In my own words, belacan smells like CRAP but taste like heaven. I have no idea why such food is loved by most Asian. In honesty, it does smell like socks that has been worn for 14 straight days.

Despite my description of how scary the smell of belacan, this dip is really a favorite among many Asians who are into spicy food. Is always good to have sambal belacan stored in the fridge. Comes in handy when you are just too lazy to cook or dunno what to eat. Just fry an omelet and serve it together with sliced cucumber or lettuce. I can bet you it will turn that simple meal into a really good one. Fried chicken and fish with turmeric¬† is also a good with sambal belacan. Basically you can eat it with almost anything. It sure makes eating Chow King’s blend pancit and fried rice a whole lot better.


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