Sambal Belachan is usually served as a dip to add spice or heat to any dishes served. Various Peranakan families have prepared it with different degrees of saltiness, sweetness, sourness as well as spiciness. The version I am about to share with you is the version that my family is used to. You can adjust it according to your liking.


  • 5pcs Red Chili
  • 3pcs Chili Padi
  • 30g Belachan or Prawn Paste
  • 2-3 Kimur Lime (depending on size)
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1/8 tsp Salt (optional)

Sambal Belachan Ingredients


Serving: For 4 persons

Preparations and Steps:

  1. Wash red chili and remove head and seeds. Slice into smaller pieces;
  2. Wash chili padi and slice into smaller pieces;
  3. Put red chili and chili Padi in a grinder or if you use a preter or mortar, pound them until fine;
  4. Wash the lime and cut into half to extract the juice for 1 serving.
  5. Break the belachan into smaller pieces;
  6. Heat up a pan (low head without oil), toast the Belachan until it becomes powder form;
  7. Add the Belachan powder and the lime juice, mix well. Adjust taste by adding salt or sugar or more lime juice to suit your flavour.

Sambal Belachan ready to serve

Emily’s Tips:

  • You can replace each red chili with 2-3 chili padi if you would like to increase the spiciness.
  • Grate some of the Kimur lime skin to the already completed sambal to add additional fragrant.
  • When you are grinding or pounding your spices, do not add water as it will dilute the taste.
  • You can use belachan that is not toasted, it will just have a more pungent smelling dip and texture might be smoother. Some people actually like this. You can grate some of the skin to lessen the smell.

Try it the standard way first and you can make variation of the Sambal the way you and your family will enjoy best.