Saturday, May 11, 2013

Fried Tamarind Shrimps - Assam Heh

Fried Shrimps in Tamarind Sauce or Assam Heh is truly a unique dish from the Peranakan or Nyonya cuisine in Malaysia. The Peranakans or Nyonyas are the descendents of the early Chinese migrants to Malaysia who settled in the country and married the local Malays. The Nyonyas have a penchant for hot and spicy food and they use a diverse mix of ingredients to create recipes which are unique to them and one of the diverse ingredient is the tamarind.  A sweet and sour fruit that is widely used in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking.  This dish is Wild Boar's favorite dish.  I am still having muscle ache, thus for the past few weeks and the coming days, Wild Boar will be helping out in the cooking , with my supervision of course LOL!   Read on to see how his cooking turned out :p

I taught him how to marinate the shrimps with
tamarind paste

after which he can just pan fried the marinated
shrimps till fragrant and cooked

wow...for me I think he did a fantastic job
( must praise when needed or no more free helper )

^    ^

Thank you WB for cooking this dish
it was absolutely delicious
he has the skill when it comes to pan frying
the shrimps till it is fragrant and cooked
the prawns must not be overcooked or
the meat will be hard and stiff
so credit goes to Wild Boar !

seriously :)

Fried Tamarind Shrimps - Assam Heh


300gm shrimps - devein and keep the tail intact
4 tbsp of tamarind pulp
1 tsp salt
3/4 tbsp of sugar
3 chillies - sliced
2 tbsp of canola oil for frying



Use a sharp serrated knife and cut a slit along the back of each prawn to devein them. Do not remove the shells. Wash the prawns and dry them carefully. Dry the prawns as much as possible, as this is meant to be a dry dish.

Tamarind juice

Add 2 Tbsp of water to the tamarind pulp. After 5 minutes, use either your fingers or a spoon and loosen up the tamarind pulp so that it mixes with the water and becomes a thick gravy. Use a colander to sift the tamarind juice, making sure not to use any of the tamarind seeds or the thick pulp.


Put all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl together with the shrimps. Marinate and leave for at least 3 hours in the fridge.


.Heat 2 Tbsp of cooking oil over high heat. Fry the prawns until all the moisture from the prawns and the marinade have evaporated. Keep frying until the shrimps turn brown.   Add 1/2 tbsp of sugar and continue to stir fry for a few more minutes until the shrimps are cooked.  They are ready when they look slightly burnt.

Serve the Assam Heh with some plain white rice . Stir fried vegetable or a salad goes well with the Assam prawns .

Enjoy !

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