Daily Archives: April 14, 2011

香辣馬拉盞魚塊 Sambal Belacan Fish Fillet

One of the most famous condiments of Malaysia, Sambal Belacan is spicy hot, sour, salty and sweet at the same time.  We used a mortar and pestle to pound the fresh chilis, garlics, shallots, shrimp paste (belacan), tamarind, sugar, and lime into a paste.  After pounding and roasting, all the juices and flavors came out from the ingredients.  It’s a great condiment that goes well with almost any vegetables and meat, or even plain rice.  Do note that belacan has a very strong taste and smell, and many would agree that it is an acquired taste. You may want to experiment with smaller amounts in the beginning if you are not familiar with it yet!


  • 12 oz White Fish Fillet
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 lb of Asparagus, trimmed
  • Cilantro for garnish

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 hot chili pepper
  • 1.5 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons Belacan
  • 1 teaspoon Tamarind sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1.5 teaspoon red chili flakes


  1. Cut fish fillet into bite sized pieces. Chop asparagus, and onions into 1.5 inch strips. Marinate fish fillets with a pinch of salt. Set fish aside while we prepare the sauce.
  2. Roughly chop garlic, shallots, and hot chili pepper into small pieces, then grind into a paste by using a mortar and pestle. Add in the rest of sauce ingredients and mix well.
  3. Separately cook onions, asparagus, and fish pieces in a large skillet with a bit of oil and medium heat until each are cooked through, setting each cooked ingredient aside on a plate. Be sure not to overcook them! Asparagus in particular are done in about 3 minutes. Onions are done when they turn translucent, and fish is done when it turns opaque and flakes easily.
  4. In the large skillet, heat oil under medium-high heat. Add in the sauce and cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add in onions, asparagus, and fish and mix sauce over pieces evenly. Once mixed well, it is ready to serve.

Posted by on April 14, 2011 in Cuisine, Fish Recipes, Malaysian


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