Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sambal Udang (Prawn)

Sambal is a chilli based condiment or sauce with its origins in Java Indonesia. Sambal usually comes in a paste-like form. It is also usually very very spicy. Traditional way of making Sambal is with a mortar and pestle, grinding the herbs and spices by hand.

This is a super spicy, super shiok Sambal prawn recipe I stole from my mum. Sorry mum, and erm oh, Happy Mother's Day Mum.

Sambal Udang

I adapted it a little, as the one my mom makes is often unbearably spicy when served to those outside our family. The wife ever called my family's need for this heat, shocking. Initially, I found it shocking that she found it shocking. I wonder if I can say that 5 times really fast.

Anyway, I adapted the use of tomato puree and more sugar. I have even made the effort to de-seed the chillies. I think I have managed to take it from my mum's "set your mouth ablaze" level of heat down to a more bearable level of "oh more water please!".

Here's what I used:

50 grams dried chillies - de-seeded and washed
2 purple onions (150 grams or so) - roughly chopped
2 yellow onions - sliced (you can use purple onions too, but I ran out of purples at this point)
4 tablespoons of sugar
1 can tomato puree (400 grams)
600 grams prawns - peeled and deveined (lightly seasoned with salt and pepper)

1/4 cup water
Juice of 1 large lime (or 2-3 small ones)

Oil for frying

Note: mum usually uses tamarind paste instead of lime juice but I didn't have it at that time. I've found that lime juice works fine too.

1. Add the dried chillies and the purple rough chopped onions in a blender and blend till you get an orange/red paste. Use water to help with the blending if the chillies won't blend and shake the blender a little. Just for kicks, I usually lift the whole blender and start shaking it like a retarded bartender, just to get the wife riled up. ;)

2. Add in the sugar and tomato puree. Continue blending till all the ingredients in the blender are well incorporated. Pour/scoop out and set aside.

3. Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Once oil is heated up, add in the sliced onions. Stir fry until they begin to soften, then add in the prawns. Fry for about 2 minutes, when prawns are cooked, removed from heat and set aside.

4. If the frying pan used for the prawns is large/deep enough, just wipe it down. (Its dirty already anyway, why not use it again). If you are using a non-stick pan, you will need less oil. Heat some oil in the pan over medium heat, then add in the blended chilli mixture.

5. Fry the mixture, stirring often, until it becomes a deep red color, as opposed to a orange like color. About 15 mins or so. The caramelization of the sugar helps with the color going darker.

6. Add in the fried onions and prawns and mix well.

7. Dish out the Sambal in to a bowl and serve warm or at room temperature.

I like to spread this on white bread as a quick snack.
The Sambal will keep well in the fridge for a few days at least.

Have a family Sambal recipe to share? Please place a comment.

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