Malaysian & Singaporean Recipes

Spicy Steve's Malaysian & Singaporean Recipes

Portugese Sambal Prawns

This Chilli Prawn recipe hails from Jennie Santa Maria, the cook at the Restoran San Pedro, one of the original Portuguese restaurants behind Portugal Square, in Melaka (Malacca). A small mixed blood Portuguese population still exists in Malacca even though it has not been a Portuguese colony in well over 400 years. The authentic local Portuguese cuisine is a marriage of Portuguese with heavy Malay and some Chinese influences.

Other distinct dishes include Curry Debal (Devil), Curry Kapitan (a chicken curry), Semur (a beef dish), Pong Teh (a chicken or pork dish) and Feng ( a dish of pork & innards). Jennie's daughter, Lucy, gave me the recipe since I was returning to Canada. As this is a secret recipe and the daughter's interpretation of it, I did not get exact measurements. As technique is everything, I suggest that if you are ever in Malacca, go meet the Santa Marias and try it out. I loved it! You probably need to be experienced in making sambals/rempahs to create the right mixture, although the concept and ingredients are fairly simple.

1 kati (approx. 1 ½ lb) of prawns - shell on or off

For the Sambal Paste:
large onions
dried chillies with no seeds
sugar and lime to taste
vegetable oil

Let's Cook
1. Pound and puree the paste. The mixture is mostly onions and dried chillies.

2. Heat wok, kuali, or pan. Add oil. Fry the sambal paste until fragrant and bubbling. Add oil as needed so it isn't too dry.

3. Fry prawns separately until crisp.

4. Mix together prawns and sambal, bring to a bubbling boil, and serve.