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Cheater’s Sambal Prawns

Sambal Prawns (Sambal Udang) Recipe

This recipe uses fresh sambal paste from a wet market as a short-cut. Use your favourite sambal paste from the wet market or supermarket. Since every sambal paste is different, season the final dish to taste with fish sauce or salt, sugar and chilli powder (if extra heat is needed).


  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/4 onion cut to large wedges
  • 2 finger-length red chilli deseeded and cut to wedges
  • 10 extra-large prawns deshelled except for tail & deveined
  • 2 heaped tbsp sambal paste from the wet market
  • 1 tomato cut to 6 wedges
  • 7 kaffir lime leaves make a tear on the leaves just before adding to wok
  • 20 ml coconut cream optional
  • more water as needed

Seasonings (A)

  • assam water dissolve 10 grams tamarind (assam) in 50 ml water, then filter the liquid through a sift to remove seeds
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tsp fish sauce to taste
  • 2 tsp sugar to taste


  1. Fry aromatics & sambal paste. Heat oil in wokpan. Cook red onion and chilli until the onion just turn translucent. Add sambal paste and stir fry briefly until aromatic.
  2. Add prawns and stir-fry until just opaque. Add seasonings (A) and tomato. Let the contents simmer for 2 minutes.
  3. Finish up & serve. Add kaffir lime, coconut cream (if using) and more water (only if needed). Stir through, season to taste and serve immediately.
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3 comments on “Cheater’s Sambal Prawns”

  1. So yummy and appetizing! Love sambal, but have never thought of making the paste at home. Time to give it a try!

  2. It’s very tasty and hot as well. This sounds looks incredible.

  3. Sedap! Best with steamed rice, and perfect warm spices for the cold weather now.

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