Recipe for Hot Prawn Sambal [Sambal Udang Asam]

Learn this incredible recipe for cooking delicious Prawn Sambal [Sambal Udang Asam].


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Serves 6

  • 500 g (1 lb) raw prawns
  • 2 teaspoons dried tamarind pulp or 3 tablespoons tamarind pure
  • 4 brown shallots or 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh galangal or 2 slices galangal in brine
  • 6 fresh red chillies or 2 tablespoons sambal oelek
  • 1 stem lemongrass, white portion only, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 teaspoons palm sugar or brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste

Shell and devein the prawns. If they are large, cut each into 3-4 pieces. If using dried tamarind, soak in 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) hot water for 10 minutes, then squeeze to dissolve the pulp. Strain and reserve the liquid, discarding the seeds and fibers. Pound or blend the shallots, garlic, ginger, galangal, chillies and lemongrass until a paste forms. Heat the oil in a wok and fry the blended mixture, stirring, until cooked and fragrant. Toss in the prawns and stir-fry until opaque. Add the tamarind liquid and simmer until thick. Stir in the sugar and salt and serve as a piquant accompaniment to rice and curries.

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