What is sambal
Sambal is a type of condiment in Indonesia and neighboring countries that is also the foundation for so many recipes. It is common to see a different type of sambal for each dish when you travel to Indonesia.
What is sambal terasi
Terasi or belacan (pronounced buh-LAH-chan) is one of the most popular ingredients and is famous for its pungent smell or stinky to some. Terasi itself has a dark chocolate color and comes in a dry hardened block, although today you can find it in the form of paste or ground. The block itself is chalky and slightly moist.
Sambal terasi is a spicy condiment made with terasi (or belacan), fresh red chilies, shallot, garlic, tomato, sugar, and salt.
How to prepare terasi or belacan
Since terasi has a strong smell and taste, it is usually (and always) toasted in small quantities.
There are a few ways to prepare terasi and you can either:
- Toast it on direct heat on a gas stovetop
- Covered in a foil annd dry frying in a pan
- Toast inn an oven toaster
Terasi will change color to pale and becomes crumbly when it is fully toasted. You should be careful when toasting terasi since it can emit an alarmingly smoky, burning smell.
How to prepare sambal terasi
- Toast the terasi
- Heat cooking oil in a frying pan and fry all the ingredients to enhance flavors
- Blend in a food processor or grinder called mortar and pestle (cobek)
- Transfer to a serving bowl and add lime juice
This type of sambal usually only lasts for 2-3 days (or a maximum of 1 week) in the fridge.
Sambal terasi is a fiery chili paste that adds a little heat to any meal, especially stir-fries. It’s simple and easy to make yet it’s bursting with flavor.
- 1/2 tablespoon terasi or belacan
- 10 red chilies
- 5 Thai chilies more if you like spicy
- 2 shallots peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 garlic
- 1 red tomato quartered
- 1/4 teaspoon salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons sugar to taste
- 4 tablespoons cooking oil
- Juice of 1 lime
- Toast the terasi on a dry pan until fragrant, about 5 minutes or so
- Heat the oil. Cook shallot, garlic, tomato, and chilies until they turn soft
- Transfer to a food processor. Add salt and sugar; then blend until it becomes a smooth paste. Adjust the seasoning
- Transfer to a plate and serve with lime juice