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Balado Udang - Shrimps in Spicy Chili Sauce

A balado dish always makes me salivate even when I have no appetite. I know it’s weird, but a plate of balado is probably going to cure me from any sickness faster than a bowl of chicken soup! You can practically turn anything into a balado dish with this sauce. Some of the more popular choices include eggplants, hard boiled eggs, tempe, and dendeng (deep fried thinly sliced beef). This shrimp/potato/stink bean combo is also a popular choice for this dish. If you love spicy food, substitute cayenne chilies with bird eye chilies, which I think is what most restaurants use since their balado dishes are always super hot.

Balado Udang - Shrimps in Spicy Chili Sauce
Balado Udang - Shrimps in Spicy Chili Sauce

Balado Udang - Shrimps in Spicy Chili Sauce

5.0 from 2 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 45 mins

Serves: 4

Print Recipe


  • 500 gram shrimps, shelled and deveined
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoon oil
  • 1 potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 100 gram stink beans (Indonesian: pete), halve each
  • 2 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Grind the following together into spice paste
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 5-10 red cayenne chilies (Indonesian: cabe merah keriting)
  • 6 asian shallots (Indonesian: bawang merah), about 75 gram
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • Garnish (optional)
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced


  1. In a mixing bowl, marinate shrimps and lime together for 15 minutes. Wash in cold water, drain, and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a wok, fry potatoes and stink beans until the potatoes are half way cooked, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add spice paste into the wok, and bring to a boil.
  4. Season with salt and sugar, adjust the amount to suit your taste. Since the acidity and sweetness of tomatoes may varies, the amount of salt and sugar you need may be slightly different.
  5. Once the sauce starts to thicken and the potatoes are fully cooked, add shrimps into the wok. Stir and cook until the shrimps turn pink, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  6. Turn off heat, transfer to a serving plate and garnish with scallion. Serve immediately with steamed white rice.
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  • Milky Milky says:

    Wow, this is super delicious! I added a few hard-boiled eggs since there's a Balado recipe with eggs, because hard-boiled eggs make everything better. Eggs, shrimp, potatoes... crazy spicy... really easy... This recipe is solid. I love a saucy main dish like this- I bet the eggs will be amazing in leftovers too.

    I did make a lot of substitutions, but hopefully I kept in the spirit of the dish. I used a can of kidney beans instead of stink beans- it's not the best substitute since I think they're too soft, but maybe lima beans would be good? For me, beans are beans so it wasn't a big deal.

    I also don't get fresh chilies very often, so I used 3 Tablespoons of Cayenne powder. This came out REALLY hot (and the powder has been hanging around for a while) but I kind of liked it. I'll tone it down next time, but I feel like this was spicy on par with real SE Asian food.

    I also used 1 can of whole tomatoes, drained. This is more a matter of convenience, but since the tomatoes are pureed and cooked in the recipe anyway, I figured this was a reasonable sub. I added a touch of water since the sauce was getting too dry before the potatoes cooked. I also subbed in half of a red onion instead of shallots, but I do this so often I almost don't even bother mentioning it, lol.

  • Lany Susanto Lany Susanto says:

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