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Sambal Terasi Matang - Cooked Shrimp Paste Chili Sauce

Sambal terasi matang is the fully cooked version of iconic Indonesian shrimp paste chili sauce. Use it with vegetables, or to perk up any Indonesian food.

Among the many varieties of sambal (Indonesian chili sauce), which easily numbers to hundreds if not thousands, I would say the most iconic is probably sambal terasi. My Mom makes a killer sambal terasi, and she loves bringing her own homemade sambal terasi all the way from Indonesia to the US whenever she comes to visit. I’m sure everyone has their own version and would swear by it, but this is how we do it. :)

Sambal Terasi Matang - Cooked Shrimp Paste Chili Sauce

Sambal Terasi Matang - Cooked Shrimp Paste Chili Sauce

What is sambal terasi matang?

Sambal terasi (or sambal belacan) is Indonesian chili sauce made from a mix of chilies, shallots, garlic, tomato, palm sugar, and most importantly, terasi. Terasi/belacan/shrimp paste is a block of fermented tiny shrimps (we call this rebon in Indonesian) with dark chocolate color and quite naturally, very sticky and pungent. And lastly, matang means cooked. So sambal terasi matang is the fully cooked version of sambal terasi, or Indonesian chili sauce with shrimp paste.

What is the difference between regular sambal terasi and sambal terasi matang?

When an Indonesian says sambal terasi, people understood that it means the raw/uncooked version. The kind that is made fresh right before serving, and intended to be finished in one meal. You can follow my sambal terasi recipe to make this regular version. This matang/cooked version, on the other hand, is fully cooked and will last for days, if not weeks, when properly stored in a sterilized jar. The cooked version is the kind my Mom makes whenever she visits. I treasure her sambal terasi so much and will try to make it lasts for as long as possible whenever I get a batch. :)

What do I need to prepare sambal terasi matang?

To make one cup of sambal terasi matang, you will need the followings:

  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 8-10 red Fresno chilies (Indonesian: cabe merah keriting)
  • 5-10 red bird-eye chilies (Indonesian: cabe merah rawit)
  • 1 tomato
  • 8 shallots (~125 gram/~ 4 oz.), I use smaller Asian/Chinese shallots, but you can use regular French shallots too, in which case, please go by weight
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 teaspoon terasi/belacan/shrimp paste, toasted
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon palm sugar (Indonesian: gula Jawa), or dark brown sugar
  • 2-3 kaffir lime leaves (Indonesian: daun jeruk), or 12 tablespoon fresh lime zest

How do I prepare/toast terasi?

All recipes that call for terasi/belacan/shrimp paste will require you to toast it prior to using. By toasting, we transform the stinky block of shrimp paste into something fragrant. I know it sounds weird, because you may think that how can this thing ever becomes fragrant, but trust me, it will be once you toast it. And there are several ways to toast a piece of terasi:

  • open flame. Grab the piece with a pair of steel tongs, and stick it in an open flame. Obviously, this only works if you have a gas stove.
  • dry frying. Fry the piece of terasi in a frying pan.
  • oven toaster. Toast the piece of terasi in an oven toaster.
  • microwave. Cook the piece of terasi in a microwave for 30 seconds.

Regardless of which way you choose, be sure to toast/cook the terasi/belacan until the color is pale and it becomes crumbly. Once it reaches the correct state, you should be able to crumble it very easily with your fingers.

How do I prepare Indonesian sambal terasi matang?

Once you have finished your prep work and have properly toast your terasi, you can start making your own homemade sambal terasi matang like so:

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan/wok over high heat. Sauté chilies, tomatoes, shallots, garlic, and toasted terasi until fragrant. Cook until both the chilies and tomato are wilted. This should take about 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer the cooked ingredients in a blender/food processor, and grind into a smooth paste.
  3. Return the chili paste to the frying pan/wok. Turn the heat to medium, then season with salt and palm sugar, adjust the taste as needed. Add kaffir lime leaves (or lime zest), and continue cooking until the chili paste turns a darker shade and is cooked through.
  4. Turn off the heat and transfer to a serving bowl.

How do I store this sambal terasi matang?

If you want to store the chilies for gifting (like my Mom), be sure to transfer the cooked chili paste directly into a sterilized glass jar. Any unopened jar that is stored in the fridge can last for at least 1 month. Once open, please finish the sambal terasi within 1 week.

How do I serve or enjoy sambal terasi?

Mention sambal terasi, and most Indonesians immediately think of a plate of lalap. Lalap is a platter of an assortment of fresh vegetables, some raw, some lightly blanched, and always served with sambal terasi. You can think of lalap as Indonesian salad, and sambal terasi as our salad dressing, or dip. Aside from lalap, sambal terasi is our favorite chili sauce for so many dishes, such as:

Pretty much when we think a dish needs a bit of help, we will reach for sambal terasi. I even have Indonesian friends and relatives that bring a bottle of sambal terasi for an overseas trip, and the sole reason is to make sure they can eat properly during their vacation!

Other Indonesian sambal recipes to try

Like I mentioned earlier, Indonesia is home to so many different varieties of sambal, one will need a book (and a rather thick one at that) to properly cover each and every single one. For a starter guide to Indonesian sambals, you can try my other Indonesian sambals for a taste:

Sambal Terasi Matang - Cooked Shrimp Paste Chili Sauce


5.0 from 4 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson

Categories:

Cuisine:

Ingredients:

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 30 mins

Serves: 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 8-10 red Fresno chilies (Indonesian: cabe merah keriting)
  • 5-10 red bird-eye chilies (Indonesian: cabe merah rawit), seeded if you aim for a milder result
  • 1 tomato, quartered
  • 8 (125 gram/4 oz.) shallots (Indonesian: bawang merah)
  • 1 clove garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih)
  • 2 teaspoon terasi/belacan/shrimp paste, toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon palm sugar, or dark brown sugar
  • 2-3 kaffir lime leaves (Indonesian: daun jeruk), or 1/2 tablespoon fresh lime zest

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan/wok over high heat. Sauté chilies, tomatoes, shallots, garlic, and toasted terasi until fragrant. Cook until both the chilies and tomato are wilted. This should take about 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer the cooked ingredients in a blender/food processor, and grind into a smooth paste.
  3. Return the chili paste to the frying pan/wok. Turn the heat to medium, then season with salt and palm sugar, adjust the taste as needed. Add kaffir lime leaves (or lime zest) , and continue cooking until the chili paste turns a darker shade and is cooked through.
  4. Turn off heat and transfer to a serving bowl. If not consumed directly, this can be transferred to a sterilized glass jar and stored in the fridge. Any unopened jar that is stored in the fridge can last for at least 1 month. Once open, please finish the sambal terasi within 1 week.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen

Comments

  • Sharon Sharon says:

    I'm loving reading through your recipes,fascinating!

  • Dedy@Dentist Chef Dedy@Dentist Chef says:

    One of all-time favourite sambal ever... btw, my mom used to add cherry tomato rather than regulat tomato, it give kick'in tangy and refreshing flavour.....

  • Nam Nam says:

    Thank you so so much for the recipe. I come from Thailand and I love spicy food but I got to know Sambal when I was exchange student in Iceland. My host mother is from Indonesia and my host father is Icelandic. My host mom always cooked sambal for me because she knows that I like them. Now I´m back to Iceland again and every time I went to visit my host family, my host mom always insist to make Sambal Terasi for me and another Sambal with the roasted peanut in it(please let me know if you know how to call this Sambal). Every time I asked her for the recipe, she tell me a bit of this and a bit of that (she doesn´t measure) and when I tried to make it, it wasn´t good like her did. Now I found the recipe and I´m going to try it out ^-^. You just make my day already :D.

  • Nam Nam says:

    I found your recipe for peanut chili sauce, Sambal Kacang. Thanks again for shared the recipes :).

    • Sanilman Sanilman says:

      If the taste is rather sweet, it's called kuah kacang, sambal satay(served with grilled, skwered, marinated bits of meat) in Malaysia. Just surf the internet with the name given

  • resep kue garpu resep kue garpu says:

    Nice post, thanks for Indonesian food. I'm from Indonesia :)

  • nn nn says:

    すごい味だ!

    • Anita Anita says:

      ありがとうございます。

  • ayudiahrespatih ayudiahrespatih says:

    Favorit bgt deh ama sambal... Makan gak pake sambel itu berasa gimanaaa gitu hehe...

    • Anita Anita says:

      Haha, sama donk. Orang Indo mana aja sama yah, ga ada sambal serasa ga lengkap makannya :D

  • Resep Kue Resep Kue says:

    makan tanpa sambal ibarat mandi tanpa sabun. hhehehe begitulah yang saya rasakan.. melihat gambar itu saja rasanya bikin ngiler, tapi sayang pake bahasa inggris jadi rada bingung saya. hhehe

  • resep kue nastar resep kue nastar says:

    sambal terasi ? hahaha, i like it. :D

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