Sambal Belacan Fish Recipe: A Spicy and Delicious Malaysian Dish – Seaco Online
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Sambal Belacan Fish Recipe: A Spicy and Delicious Malaysian Dish

If you're looking for a flavourful and spicy fish recipe, you might want to try making sambal belacan fish. Sambal belacan is a popular Malaysian condiment made from chilli paste and shrimp paste. It's often used as a dipping sauce or added to dishes to give them a spicy kick.

A whole fish being marinated in sambal belacan, surrounded by ingredients like chili, shrimp paste, and lime

To make sambal belacan fish, you'll need to prepare the sambal belacan first. This involves blending garlic, shallots, red chillies, bird's eye chillies, toasted belacan, and dried shrimps together until they form a paste. You can then stir-fry the paste until it's fragrant and add a little water to thin it out.

Once you've made the sambal belacan, you can use it to cook the fish. You'll need to marinate the fish in the sambal belacan for at least an hour before cooking it. You can then bake, grill, or fry the fish until it's cooked through. The sambal belacan will give the fish a spicy and savoury flavour that's sure to impress.

Key Takeaways

  • Sambal belacan is a popular Malaysian condiment made from chilli paste and shrimp paste.
  • To make sambal belacan fish, you'll need to prepare the sambal belacan first and marinate the fish in it before cooking.
  • Sambal belacan fish can be baked, grilled, or fried to give it a spicy and savoury flavour.

Preparing the Sambal Belacan

A mortar and pestle grinds red chilies and belacan shrimp paste. A chef adds lime juice and fish, then grills

Ingredients Overview

To make the perfect sambal belacan, you will need a few key ingredients. These include belacan (shrimp paste), red chillies, dried shrimp, garlic, lime juice, salt, and sugar. You may also want to add some palm sugar, tamarind paste, or calamansi lime juice for extra flavour.

Making the Paste

To make the sambal belacan paste, you will need a mortar and pestle. Begin by pounding the dried shrimp until it becomes a fine powder. Next, add the red chillies and garlic and pound until they are well combined. Then, add the belacan and continue pounding until it is fully incorporated into the mixture. Finally, add the lime juice, salt, and sugar and continue pounding until the paste is smooth and well-balanced.

Flavour Balancing

When making sambal belacan, it is important to balance the flavours of the paste. The umami flavour of the belacan should be balanced with the sourness of the lime juice and the sweetness of the sugar. You can adjust the flavour of the paste by adding more salt or sugar as needed. If the paste is too spicy, you can add more lime juice or even some water to dilute the heat.

Cooking with Sambal Belacan

A hand is holding a mortar and pestle, grinding together red chilies, shrimp paste, and lime juice to make sambal belacan. A whole fish is being marinated in the spicy paste before being grilled over an open flame

Sambal Belacan Fish

Cooking fish with sambal belacan is a delicious and easy way to add some heat and flavour to your meal. Start by heating up a frying pan with a bit of olive oil or butter. Once it's hot, add your fish and fry until it's cooked through. Then, add a spoonful of sambal belacan to the pan and stir it around until the fish is coated. Cook for another minute or two to let the flavours meld together.

Not only is this a tasty way to cook fish, but it's also a great source of protein. Depending on the type of fish you use, it can be a low-calorie option as well. Just be mindful of how much sambal belacan you use, as it can be quite spicy.

Serving Suggestions

Sambal belacan fish can be served with a variety of sides, depending on your preferences. For a more traditional Malaysian meal, serve it with rice or nasi lemak. You can also serve it with noodles or a side of vegetables for a lighter option.

If you're looking to add some more protein to your meal, consider serving it with some eggs or chicken. Sambal belacan also pairs well with meat, so feel free to experiment with different options.

To make sambal belacan into a dipping sauce, simply mix it with a bit of lime juice and sugar to balance out the flavours. You can also store any leftover sambal belacan in the fridge for later use.

Frequently Asked Questions

A bowl of sambal belacan fish with aromatic spices and a side of fresh herbs and lime, displayed on a wooden table

What's the best way to prepare sambal belacan for fish dishes?

The best way to prepare sambal belacan for fish dishes is to use fresh ingredients and blend them together until they form a smooth paste. You can then stir-fry the paste in a pan with some oil until it is fragrant.

After that, add the fish to the pan and cook until it is done. Make sure to use a good quality belacan for the best results.

Can you suggest a simple method for making sambal belacan to accompany fish?

To make a simple sambal belacan to accompany fish, you will need fresh red chilies, belacan, lime juice, and salt. Blend all the ingredients together until they form a smooth paste. You can then stir-fry the paste in a pan with some oil until it is fragrant. This sambal belacan is perfect for dipping fish or as a side dish.

How is the Nyonya style fish sambal different from other recipes?

The Nyonya style fish sambal is different from other recipes because it uses a combination of spices and ingredients that are unique to the Nyonya cuisine. The sambal belacan is usually made with a blend of dried shrimps, shallots, garlic, and fresh chilies.

It also includes tamarind juice, which gives it a sour taste. The Nyonya style fish sambal is usually served with steamed rice and other side dishes.

What are some tasty sides to serve with fish topped with sambal belacan?

Some tasty sides to serve with fish topped with sambal belacan include steamed rice, stir-fried vegetables, and pickled vegetables. You can also serve it with a side of sambal kangkong, which is made with water spinach stir-fried with sambal belacan.

Is there a vegetarian alternative to traditional belacan in sambal recipes?

Yes, there is a vegetarian alternative to traditional belacan in sambal recipes. You can use a combination of miso paste and soy sauce to replace belacan. This will give your sambal a similar umami flavour that is characteristic of traditional belacan.

How can I adapt the sambal belacan recipe for a baked fish version?

To adapt the sambal belacan recipe for a baked fish version, you can marinate the fish in the sambal belacan for a few hours before baking it in the oven. You can also use a mixture of breadcrumbs and sambal belacan to create a crispy coating for the fish. Serve it with a side of steamed vegetables for a delicious and healthy meal.