I brought back with me a huge chunk of balacan when I was back in Asia earlier this year. I have never dealt with balacan before and was so looking forward to "playing" with it. So finally after all these months, I got down to cut a small cube of it and roasted it over... a cigarette lighter flame, haha! Had no idea how much roasting it needed but thought it should be OK once I started smelling the balacan. Is that right?
I guess it worked 'coz I used it to fry rice with much success... the fried rice was yummy! I crumbled the balacan and fried it with some oil and lots of onions, garlic, ginger, chili, dried shrimps, plus a tad of curry powder for extra flavour. Once fragrant, I added the rice, green beans and eggs and seasoned it with soya sauce, pepper and a little sugar. The result: tasty balacan fried rice that reminds me of Indonesian nasi goreng. I served it just like the latter - topped with a sunny-side-up with runny yolk. My kind of comfort food.
Oh, I have to add that I'd heard so many stories about the lingering stinky smell of cooking with balacan. I opened the windows when frying and the apartment did not smell bad at all afterwards... which means I will be cooking this often, yoohoo ;)