• very commonly used in Balinese cooking as a spice
  • generally fried or partially grilled before use, or used without first grilling it in a spice mixture that will later be cooked
  • six of one, half dozen of the other
  • sera has a strong smell, but it adds a pleasant flavor to food in which it is used. Both syllables of the word rhyme with the second syllable of the English word "sofa." do not confuse with lemon grass, sere, pronounced sir-rAY
  • shrimp paste, made by drying shrimp under the sun and pounding to a pulp
  • available in small packages in all markets
  • called trassi in Indonesian
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Northern Form
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Usage Examples

Be apaso aduk sera aketeng.
Literally meaning 'a large container of fish mixed with a little bit of shrimp paste'. Sera, shrimp paste, smells quite bad unless cooked with food, and it would ruin the smell of a great many fish. The expression is equivalent to a rotten apple in the barrel, meaning that a little bit of a bad thing spoils a great deal of a good thing.

Ane paling utama, yen ‘kal ngae sambel matah: nganggo bawang, sera, tabia lan lengis nyuh. Eda ngengsap ngisinin lemo.
[example 1]
First and foremost, the ingredients that are used when making the raw chili sauce are onion, shrimp paste, chili and coconut oil. Don’t forget to put kaffir lime juice.

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