Chinese, Seafood, Side Dish

Asam Prawns (Tamarind Fried Prawns)

Asam prawns or tamarind fried prawns is a Nyonya dish that’s super simple to make. You just marinate the prawns with the marinade which consist of tamarind pulp, salt, sugar and dark soy sauce. And then you fry the prawns. Btw the prawns are leftovers from Chinese New Year which is why they’re so large.

Asam Prawns aka Tamarind Fried Prawns
Asam prawns aka tamarind fried prawns.

Let’s get started!

Deveine Prawns
Devein the prawns. Then, wash the prawns and drain-dry them.

Asam Prawns Marinade
In a bowl, place together tamarind pulp, salt, sugar and dark soy sauce. Mix well.

Marinate Prawns
Cover the prawns with marinade. Make sure all corners of the prawns are smear with god-slurping marinade. Marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

2 hours or more later…

Remove the pulp of the tamarind.

Fry Asam Prawns
Add oil in a wok and over medium low heat. Fry the prawns (with pulp removed) until aromatic and slightly burned. Dish out and serve with a bowl of rice.

Asam Prawns aka Tamarind Fried Prawns
I find the taste to be just right. Not overly salty. However for me the dish slightly lack the asam (tamarind) smell. Must be because I didn’t wash the prawns cleanly. It still smells. Hahaha *gulps

Assam Prawns (Tamarind Fried Prawns)
Adapted from Nyonya Flavours

500g fairly large while prawns, deveined, washed and drained well
80g tamarind pulp
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
125ml oil for frying

1. In a bowl, add tamarind pulp, salt, sugar and dark soy sauce. Mix well.

2. Marinate the prawns with the marinade for at about 2 hours in the refrigerator.

3. Add oil in a wok over medium low heat. Add the prawns (with pulp removed) and fry until slightly burned and aromatic. Serve warm with a bowl of rice.


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  • Reply Dawn March 11, 2014 at 2:29 am

    My mom, grandma made this all the time and only now I know how they cook them….malu nya!!! But this dish is very yummy tho.

    • Reply Che-Cheh March 11, 2014 at 8:27 am

      Mine not that yummy because I didn’t clean the prawns properly. Haha If done right, surely yummy.

  • Reply Jessie tan June 15, 2015 at 3:51 am

    My hubby loves asam prawns, I follow your recipe to cook, he enjoyed it and praising me with thumb up☺

    • Reply Che-Cheh June 15, 2015 at 9:47 am

      Hi Jessie, so happy that your hubby enjoyed the asam prawns. 🙂

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