Monday, May 23, 2011

Udang Assam (Tamarind Fried Prawns)

This is a Singaporean dish featured in Yummy Magazine a couple of years ago.  When I was living on my own I used to cook this dish at least once a month.  The first time I made this I even had a friend, who is living in the San Juan area, buy for me tamarind pulp from Chef's Nook. If you can find tamarind pulp it is really best to use it since the dish will taste better. However if you can't find tamarind pulp or paste the Sampalok mixes found in grocery stores will do.  That was what I used recently when I cooked this for the family.  It was the first time that 1st Brother tasted this dish, he liked it so much that he asked that I give his reliable Ate T (that's their helper) the recipe.

The dish is primarily sour from the tamarind but there are hints of salty and sweet that makes this dish a winner in my book.
Here is the recipe:

1 cup assam (tamarind liquid)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 kilo prawns, deveined but with shells intact
oil for frying
pepper to taste

1. To obtain assam or tamarind liquid, squeeze out the pulp in a little hot water then pass through a sieve to strain the juice.  If you can't find tamarind pulp use 3 tablespoon tamarind mix, dissolve in 1 cup of water.  You can also use tamarind paste.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the tamarind liquid, sugar and soy sauce.
3. Marinate prawns in this mixture for at least 2 hours in the fridge.
4. Heat oil in a wok over medium to low flame.  Add the prawns together with the marinade and fry until slightly burnt and aromatic.  Season with pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.

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