Malaysian & Singaporean Recipes

Spicy Steve's Malaysian & Singaporean Recipes

Sambal Assam Prawns

(Prawns in Tamarind and Chilli)
My wife's old school friend, Carol Lee, of Kuala Lumpur, is typical of the ethnic mix of many modern Malaysian Chinese. Carol is a mix of Teochew and Hokkien, while her auntie in Melaka (Malacca) is Peranakan; a Nonya. Carol cooked us this lovely traditional Prawn Sambal which with the addition of the Assam (Tamarind) gives it that slight tartness typical of Nonya cuisine.

600 grams medium sized prawns, shell on or unshelled
1 medium sized white onion, cut into rings

Grind together the following three into a Sambal Paste
4 fresh red chillies (medium sized)
5 shallots
4 candlenuts

2-3 tbs. tamarind paste mixed and strained with,
1 cup warm water
1 tbs. sugar
vegetable oil

Let's Cook:
1. Heat wok, kuali or pan. When hot add enough oil to coat it. Fry all the ground ingredients, gently stirring until the mixture becomes fragrant. Add sugar and continue to stir until well mixed. This whole process can involve quite a few minutes of constant stirring. As the mixture dries out or sticks, add more oil. (Note: The less fattening you want it, hold back on the oil. The more tasty you want it, add more oil.)

2. Add onion rings and stir until sautéed to your liking.

3. Add prawns and stir until they fully turn pink.

4. Add tamarind juice, bring to a boil, stir and serve.