Tamarind prawn or assam prawn is a Malaysian–Nyonya recipe, one that I grew up eating as my late mother made a killer dish of assam prawn, or “assam heh/亚参虾” (in Hokkien dialect).
While most Nyonya recipes call for long list of ingredients and tedious preparations, tamarind prawn (assam prawn) is surprisingly easy to make and takes only a few ingredients: tamarind, sugar, and salt.
Despite the easy recipe, tamarind prawns (assam prawns) are impossibly delicious as the tamarind gives the prawns the bold and tart flavors while accentuating the briny sweet taste of prawns…(get tamarind prawn or assam prawn recipe after the jump)
I highly recommend this tamarind prawn (assam prawn) recipe if you love prawns/shrimps and wish to venture into Nyonya cooking. It will the best prawn dish you have yet to savor!
How Many Calories per Serving?
This recipe is only 167 calories per serving.
What Dishes to Serve with This Recipe?
For a wholesome meal and easy weeknight dinner, I recommend the following recipes.
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Tamarind Prawn (Assam Prawn)
- 8 oz. shell-on prawns
- 1 1/2 tablespoons tamarind pulp
- 4 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- Mix the tamarind pulp with 4 tablespoons water. Extract the juice from the tamarind by pressing the pulp.
- Remove the heads of the prawns. Devein the prawns by slitting the back. Rinse prawns with water and pat dry with paper towers. Add the tamarind juice and pulp, salt, and sugar into the prawns and mix well with your hand. Marinate for 15 minutes. Remove the tamarind pulp before cooking.
- Heat up a wok and add cooking oil. As soon as it's heated, drop the prawns into the wok and pan fry until cooked and slightly burnt. Dish out and serve immediately.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.
Hi I can’t get it charred like yours! Does the wok have to be very hot before putting in the prawns?
Yes, you need hot wok.
Hello. Can this dish be made with tamarind concentrate? It’s all that I could find in a large Asian store. The ingredients says tamarind and water. How would I modify the recipe?
Yes, I would like to know too please.
I have been following your blog for the last three years and is so proud that someone far away from home is unrelentingly promoting Malaysian food.
Assam prawn is my favorite, but I have not cooked it so far. Your recipe will be my guiding light to cooking this amazing dish.
when do you add the soya sauce?
There is no soy sauce needed in this recipe, just salt and sugar.
Hi, I tried this recipe for friends and they loved it. It’s a keeper.
Can I use prawns with no skin?