Shrimp paste or shrimp sauce, is a common ingredient used in Southeast Asian and Southern Chinese cuisine. It is known as terasi (also spelled trassi, terasie) in Indonesian, Ngapi in Burmese kapi (กะปิ) in Thai, Khmer and Lao language, belacan (also spelled belachan, blachang) in Malay, mắm ruốc, mắm tép and mắm tôm in Vietnamese (the name depends on the shrimp used), bagoong alamang (also known as bagoong aramang) in Filipino and hom ha/hae ko (POJ: hê-ko) in Min Nan Chinese.
It is made from fermented ground shrimp, sun dried and then cut into fist-sized rectangular blocks. It is not designed, nor customarily used for immediate consumption and has to be fully cooked prior to consumption since it is raw. To many Westerners unfamiliar with this condiment, the strong smell can be considered unappetizing; however, it is an essential ingredient in many curries and sauces. Shrimp paste can be found in most meals in Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. It is often an ingredient in dipping sauce for fish or vegetables.