Who’s a lemongrass fan? Me! Who’s a prawn lover? Me! Me! Who’s a sambal fan? Oh yeah… Me! Me! Me! This dish is basically made for ME! Haha Its taste is just like what I envisioned and the zing it provides makes you keep wanting more and more. Enough said. 😉 (tsk sorry lame intro kekeke) This is a Penang peranakan dish.
Belacan is so intoxicating. It’s my first love. Long before kimchi came along. 😉
Making my own coconut milk from grated coconut bought from sundry shop. The recipe asks for 100ml thick coconut milk and 200ml thin coconut milk. First, add 100ml water to the grated coconut. Then squeeze the coconut milk to a container below with a strainer in between to catch the falling grated coconut. Another way is using a cloth strainer. My way is called the lazy way because I hate washing the cloth strainer. 😛 Once done, repeat the same process but this time add 200ml water to the grated coconut to yield thin coconut milk.
Heat 100ml oil in wok and fry garlic until aromatic and golden. Remove the fried garlic and put in a bowl. Repeat with the shallots. Remove and set aside. (Just realized I mix up the photos, the bottom photos should be switched).
Then add the thin coconut milk+tamarind to the wok. Break up any lumpy belacan with wok turner. Let mixture boil and then give the liquid a taste. Add salt if necessary. I added 1/2 tsp salt (following the initial recipe) without tasting and ended with quite a salty dish. This is because I forgot that belacan itself is salty.
Creamy Lemongrass Sambal Prawns aka Sambal Serai Prawn
Adapted from Nyonya Flavors
100g raw, whole cashew nuts
3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
4 shallots, sliced thinly
4 stalks lemongrass, chopped and pounded
10g belacan (shrimp paste), toasted and crumbled
200ml thin coconut milk
5g tamarind pulp
300g medium-sized prawns, shelled and deveined
100ml thick coconut milk (from 1/2 coconut)
salt to taste, NOTE: belacan is salty itself
1 red chili, seeded and chopped
2 green chilies, seeded and chopped – I omitted this
1. Lightly toast the cashew nuts in a wok until lightly golden. Set aside.
2. Heat 100ml oil in a wok. Fry garlic until aromatic and golden. Dish out and then repeat the same with shallots. Place fried shallots in another bowl and set aside.
3. With the same oil, saute lemongrass and belacan. Add more cooking oil if necessary.
4. In a bowl, mix tamarind pulp into the thin coconut milk. Strain mixture and add to the wok. Bring mixture to the boil. If there’s any lumpy belacan, use the wok turner to break it up. Now give the mixture a taste, add salt if necessary.
5. Add prawns and once cooked, add thick coconut milk and half the amount of fried garlic and shallots. Mix until combined and plate out.
6. Garnish with chili, cashew nuts and the remaining garlic and shallots. Serve warm.