How to Make Sambal for Prawn Noodle Soup (Har Meen) (Low-Carb)


If you’ve followed my Live Asian Kitchen broadcasts for any length of time, you would know that the term sambal belacan” (shrimp paste sambal) covers a number of different chilli dips – there’s raw sambal belacan which consists of pounding chillies with toasted shrimp paste, some seasoning plus a dash of fresh lime juice – popular in Malay and Nyonya dishes – and then there’s the fried variety used in Chinese-inspired recipes like Har Meen (prawn noodle soup).

The sambal belacan I make and sell at the markets is actually a sweeter version of the latter, which works for the Char Kway Teow (fried rice noodles) it’s served with. The recipe for that is located here >> How to Make Sambal Belacan.

For personal consumption however, I prefer the more savoury version, per in this broadcast; I try to make sure I always have a jar of it in my fridge –


Sambal Belacan for Har Meen (Prawn Noodle Soup)


  • 1 ½ cups chillies, cut into chunks
  • 6 bird’s eye chillies (optional)
  • 1 ½ onions
  • 2 Tbsp belacan powder (or equivalent if using Thai shrimp paste or Malaysian/Indonesian shrimp paste blocks)
  • 1 ½ tsp sugar (optional, if you’re really hardcore low-carb, or feel free to replace with coconut sugar, etc.)
  • 2 Tbsp soya sauce or fish sauce
  • ½ Tbsp chicken powder (optional)
  • ½ cup oil


  1. Blend chillies and onions to desired consistency.
  2. Heat oil in frying pan. Add chilli/onion puree and all other ingredients and cook until oil separates and onion is aromatic – approximately 15-20 minutes.
  3. Allow to cool, then store in glass jar. Sambal will keep in fridge for 6 weeks or in freezer for 6 months.


Share and Enjoy !