One of the Penang Nyonya dishes is Assam Heh or Tamarind Prawns. I first learned about this dish from my mom. My mom was from Alor Star, Kedah and thus a lot of her cooking has been influenced by the Nyonya in Penang. I guess any dish that tasted good would be adapted in a family, and in this case my mom. It has became my favorite because of how delicious it is and how easy it is to cook. Tamarind is a common item used in a Malaysian household. And I would love to share with you this easy Tamarind Prawns recipe. The used of tamarind made this dish a Nyonya dish (incorporation of Malay ingredient into Chinese cuisine).
Ingredients: (for two)
15 large shrimps/prawns (with shells)
About 2-3 Tbsp. of tamarind pulps, soaked in 3/4 cup of warm water (use your fingers to squeeze the tamarind to mix in with the water).
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce
1 or 2 tsp. sugar (depending on how sweet you like you assam prawns)
Sprinkle of salt
*Marinate the shrimps with the above marinade in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, I did mine for 5 hours.*
Heat wok with 2 Tbsp. of canola oil in high heat, when heated add in the prawns along with half of the marinade and fry until the sauce evaporated and stick to the prawns. Then, add (B), stir and serve.