Nyonya Pendek Melaka is a wonderful food blog with many delicious and authentic Nyonya recipes. Today, she shares with us her family’s udang masak lemak nenas recipe, or pineapple prawn curry. I tried out this classic Melaka Nyonya recipe and absolutely loved it. Enjoy!
Guest writer: Nyonya Pendek Melaka (Petite Nyonya)
When I started looking into food blogs, Rasa Malaysia was one of the first few I stumbled upon and was in full admiration for. When Bee launched Nyonya Food, I was really glad to see it takes shape as a focused tribute to our rich culinary heritage.
Thus, I was honored and delighted to receive an invitation from Bee to be a guest writer on Nyonya Food and contribute to it. I just don’t seem to be cooking Nyonya dishes as often as I should unless I am back in my hometown for family gatherings, so this invitation is just perfect!
Bee also requested if I could prepare a dish that is synonymous with the Peranakan household in Melaka. While there are many similarities with Peranakan food in Melaka (where I’m from) and Penang (where Bee’s from), there are a few distinct signature dishes exclusive to or more favored in each of these two Malaysian states…
The dish that I have presented here is very popular and much loved by many Peranakan families in Melaka, as well as in Singapore—as a result of my hometown’s influence due to its geographical proximity to the island nation.
Called Udang Masak Lemak Nenas or Pineapple Prawn in Spicy Coconut Milk Gravy, it was often prepared for Chinese New Year family reunion dinners, at any other family gatherings and for prayers to the deceased relatives on special prayer months.
Now, we cook it as and when the palate craves for it or when friends come over for a Peranakan food feast. Below is my family’s recipe taught by my deeply missed late Mom to my sisters and I.
It is packed with flavor and aroma from the spices, and sweetness from the prawn and pineapple. Serve it with plain white rice is the best, and it will never fail to whet one’s appetite!
Udang Masak Lemak Nenas (Pineapple Prawn Curry) Recipe
Udang Masak Lemak Nenas (Pineapple Prawn Curry)
- 15 to 20 dried chillies, cut, discard seeds and soak in hot boiling water for 20 mins
- 10 to 12 shallots
- 4 pips garlic
- 2 candlenuts
- 2 stalks lemongrass, use the pale part about 4 inches from the base
- 1 inch-long turmeric
- 1/2 inch-long galangal
- 1 tablespoon Asian shrimp paste, belacan
- 1 litre water
- Half of a ripen pineapple, but not too over ripe, cut into 1.5 inch pieces
- 250 ml thick coconut milk
- 10 to 12 large prawns with shell intact
Blend all ingredients in Part I to form a paste. Heat 3/4 cup oil in a wok/pan and saute the paste till it becomes a bit drier and fragrant. Transfer the sauteed paste to a cooking pot and add Part II. If you find the gravy a bit too thick, you can add a little bit more water. Allow it to simmer for about 15 mins till the sweetness from the pineapple is released into the gravy. After that, pour in Part III and allow it to simmer to a boil for 2-3 minutes. Then, add in the washed prawns and let it boil till they are cooked. Turn off the heat and serve hot with a plate of rice. Bon Appetit!