Fiery Sambal Udang

Sambal Udang (Prawns with Sambal) is one of my favourite 5-minute dish when I need a quick fix or when I'm super hungry. All you need really, is a good bottle of sambal belachan. The bottled ones are a little lacking in flavour as compared to the homemade version but nonetheless still deliver the heat required. It is also a lot more convenient as its shelf life of a year ensures that you'll always have sambal belachan in the fridge whenever you need it.

One key ingredient in this dish is the usage of tamarind (also known as assam) that gives it a little tangy sour taste. This is often soaked in advance to obtain tamarind water but since we have only got 5 minutes to spare, I have opted to include the tamarind into the dish itself. A reminder though, to always remove it before serving.


8             large prawns, deveined with head and tail in tact
1             garlic clove, minced
2             shallots, sliced
1 tbsp     sambal belachan
1 slice     dried tamarind (assam)
1 tbsp     vegetable oil
1/4 cup   water


Heat pan with 1 tablespoon of oil. Add in minced garlic and sliced shallots and fry till fragrant.

Add in 1 tablespoon of sambal belachan, fry slightly and add in the tamarind slice and water.

Add in the prawns and cook till they are pink and the sauce reduced. Remove the slice of tamarind from the pan and serve with a bowl of hot steaming rice.

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