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By Sri Owen

Published 1980

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This is a dark-coloured paste made from shrimps; it looks and smells a little like Marmite, but has the texture of ordinary fish-paste or Gentleman’s Relish. You can sometimes buy Indonesian terasi which has been imported from Holland; usually, however, shops in Britain sell terasi from Malaysia, which is called by its Malay name, balachan.

Terasi, or balachan, is used in very small amounts as a flavouring in a wide variety of dishes. It is used in two forms: raw, and fried, or, better still, grilled.