About shrimp paste
Southeast Asian shrimp paste, known variously as terasi, trasi and trassi, comes in cakes that can range from soft and grayish-pink to firm and brownish in color. Shrimp paste is made by grinding up salted, fermented shrimp and has a strong, salty, fishy flavor. It's used sparingly in myriad Asian preparations, particularly soups, sauces and rice dishes. The pungent odor common to all the shrimp pastes dissipates somewhat during cooking.
It may also be crushed with spices, grilled or fried before adding to other ingredients.