Sunday, September 5, 2010

BBQ Assam Prawn

Yesterday in Australia it was Fathers' Day and this year, having moved back home with my parents to a much larger kitchen i was able to help cook a feast for dinner that day. I went for a Malaysian theme and with my mother providing a chicken satay and my sister providing a beef rendang (both of which were magnificent) i decided to try my hand at some Nonya cuisine, as well as the obligatory KL Hokkien Mee.

Assam prawn, from what i gather is a Nonya dish of tamarind and soy marinated shrimp, normally wok fried though sometimes there appears to be some variation in recipe. I decided to grill my prawns on the BBQ, considering the amazing size of the ones i managed to get my hands on!

The BBQing of the assam prawn had it's pro's and con's. The tamarind was much less present as the sauce was not made to cling to the prawn. On the other hand it made for a much drier dish, more perfect for the appetizer purpose i had for it. The sourness of the tamarind is tempered by the sugar and dissipates with the fiery breath of the grill.

Ingredients (Serves 6 as entree)

  • 18 jumbo prawns, shell on
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes


 Remove the prawn heads and devein whilst still in the shell by slicing through the shell along the back of the prawn and removing the tract

Rinse the prawns in water
Combine the tamarind paste, soy, sugar and chilli in a small bowl and add water until mixture is thick but runs quickly (think buttermilk)

Pour this over the prawns and toss well

Marinate in the fridge for 1-2 hours
Heat an open flame grill to high and place the prawns on there

After 2-3 minutes flip the prawns and grill other side for another 2-3 minutes
Prawns should be charred and completely opaque
Serve garnished with a sprinkle of sea salt

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