Melaka is famous for its belacan, a Melaka Malay shrimp paste. Belacan is used as an ingredient in many Melakan dishes, or eaten on its own with rice. A common preparation is sambal belacan, made by mixing toasted belacan with chilli peppers, minced garlic, shallot paste and sugar and then fried. Belacan made of small shrimps or called as geragau in Malay.
The fresh geragau caught with special nets usually during low tide by the Portuguese fishermen will be mixed with salt and shaped into round patties and left to dry under the hot sun. Once ready, it will be individually packed in plastic and sold at wet markets and sundry shops.