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Copyright © 2008 WHOLESOME LIVING SINGAPORE vegan belachan, vegetarian belacan vegan belacan, vegetarian belachan, vegetarian sambal chilli paste, vegan sambal chilliA superb substitute for the real Belacan / Belachan
Last modified: 05/05/08
KNOW-WHAT-YOU-EAT: Production process of Belacan / Belachan /Shrimp
The making of Cakes from minute Shrimps-"Belacan"
Fisherman living by the sea have evolved many ways of preserving their catches. Numerous methods were also
devised to tap potentials of the abundances of a otherwise non-marketable resources. An example, in this case
According to the descending order based on size of shrimps, method of selling those smaller than table size
shrimps are :- as Dried Shrimps - prawn cakes - preserved shrimps in bottles, and finally shrimp paste! These
example mentioned are part of a list of products enhancement techniques. Down the list are prawn flavored
source and prawn cakes.
massive quantity next to dried shrimps.
Those shrimps harvested from the mangrove swamps - what products can be
processed from them?
Into dries shrimps, paste cakes or assisting in the production of food
The final product depended solely on the type of shrimps harvested, then the
consistencies in species within that bulk harvest!
Shrimps too gather in great numbers, usually in a shoal. It is a mono-species
affair with impurities caused by the presence of some alien species. Another
example shown in the picture above, there are instances where a particular
species of small shrimp that is too small for dried shrimps and too big for
paste. Then they are processed and sold as low grade dried shrimps.
For the production of solid cakes, it entails the following processes
Large quantity of minute shrimps are drained of water- then mixed
with salt to be retained inside this large wooden tumbler.
The salt and decaying shrimps will eventually fused into a semi
solid dense dough.
In ensuring complete homogenizing, the newly formed dough are
passed through a mill that squeezed on the mixture and passed out
as thread-like paste. This process also increase the surface area of
The process is then reversed when these re-mixed dough are
repacked into sacks for renewed fermentation.
Notice the differences in containers used for the 3 stages? Fiber
sacks, synthetic drums and this wooden barrels.
The whole stage of allowing the dough to nurture it in a compacted
-3rd repacked for the next gestation stage, are repeated in 3 cycles.
Watch that the containers used for the 3 cycles varies!
The dough is given one final milling. The loosen chunks of these
dough are then left for drying for a week or so depending on the
heat from the weather!
Different shades of color! This is due to the species of shrimps used
to prepared the dough!
The finished products, dried, are then retrieved and stored into containers. The moment these semi dried dough
are taken away from heat, they will absorb moisture to return to a dough stage. hence packaging and storage of
packed products is vital in retaining its fresh and aromatic quality!
In a dough stage, the finished goods are then shaped into cakes and divided into "rectangular" cubes of 0.5
kilogram or 1 kilogram per piece for final distribution and sales
I hope this information is enough to deter you from eating the exotic food a while or use our vegan belachan for
your future Southeast Asian cuisines. Think before you eat! You may purchase for a sample order (100g pack @
S$6.00) from us plus the shipping and handling cost. Contact us.