Chilli Recipes / Recipe Box

Hei Bee Hiam (Dried Shrimps Sambal)

My mum brought me a few packs of hei bee (dried shrimps) on her last trip here. And when I saw shallots and tamarind (there was only 1 box left) while grocery shopping, I know it’s a sign. It did take me a while to act on it though, but I managed to made these hei bee hiam (dried shrimps sambal) in time for my husband to bring to Singapore for my parents and sister.

If you are wondering how to enjoy your hei bee hiam, I would recommend eating it: –

1) on its own
2) with plain rice
3) with plain bread
4) stir-fried with green/long/french beans or eggplant

Here’s the recipe for hei bee hiam (dried shrimps sambal), adapted from noobcook. Enjoy!



  • 285 gram hei bee (dried shrimps)
  • 190 gram shallots
  • 40 gram garlic
  • 40 gram dried chilli (reduce this if you don’t want it to be too spicy)
  • 4 tablespoon tamarind extract *
  • 3 tablespoon oil
  • Salt and sugar, to taste

Ingredients for tamarind extract:

  • 6 tamarind pods
  • 10 tablespoon boiling water

Preparing tamarind extract:

  1. Crack tamarind pods with your hands, peel off fiber and remove the fruit.
  2. Soak tamarind in boiling water for about 20 minutes.
  3. Mash tamarind with your fingers and strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl. Continue to press tamarind pulp through the sieve until you are left with only seeds and fiber on the sieve.


  1. With a pair of scissors, cut the dried chilli halfway to remove most of the seeds. Soak dried chilli in water to soften, then drain.
  2. Soak dried shrimps in water to soften, then drain.
  3. Put shallots, garlic and dried chilli in a chopper/food processor and blend till fine. Add a little water to help blend better.
  4. Chop the dried shrimps into smaller pieces, but not too fine to maintain texture in the hei bee hiam.
  5. Heat up oil in a big wok or frying pan. Saute the chilli mixture till fragrant. Add in dried shrimps, tamarind extract, salt and sugar.
  6. Stir-fry till hei bee hiam becomes dry and thick.
  7. Hei bee hiam can be stored in air-tight containers and kept in fridge.
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