Food glossary

A variety of seafood

Shrimp paste

Also known as belcan or blachan (in Malaysia) and terasi (in Indondesia) shrimp paste is widely used in the same way as Thai fish sauce (nam pla) is used in Thailand. Shrimp paste is made from tiny shrimps that have been salted and then left to ferment. The paste has an overpowering, unpleasant smell but this disappears during cooking.

Uses: Shrimp paste is used to add an exotic aroma and flavour to a variety of Oriental dishes including stir-fries, soups and noodle dishes. It can be used to make dipping sauces for fried or grilled meat, fish, vegetables and wontons. It can also be used in salad dressings.

To store: Once opened, store in an airtight plastic container in the fridge for up to 3 months.

To use Use sparingly. The wax layer on top keeps the paste fresh. Remove and discard the wax before using the paste