Balichao refers to the famed Macanese shrimp paste. If there is one ingredient that distinguishes Macanese cooking, it is this piquant, odoriferous condiment. Just a small amount of the purplish-brown paste gives a salty, sour edge to such dishes as lacassa, pork stew, even fried rice.
The best balichao is made with tiny fresh shrimp from China, salt, bay leaves, chiles, lemon, peppercorns, and rice wine. Chefs and home cooks alike used to make their own which involved a tedious preparation process, followed by a hundred days of ripening. Today, however, many people admit to buying jarred salted shrimp

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