We loved nasi lemak or Malaysian coconut rice. One of the dishes I missed the most when I first came to the U.S. would be nasi lemak. In my 20s and totally a newbie in cooking, I thought nasi lemak was very hard to make. It was like eating it would only happen in my dream. Then one day, a friend taught me how to make it and I was really surprised at how easy it was to make one. I remembered I once made some nasi lemak and asked my husband to bring it to his school to share with his Malaysian male friends and how happy and thankful they were.
For this nasi lemak, I added turmeric powder thus the yellow color (Since the curcumin in turmeric is good for us so I wanted to incorporate it more into our diet). The recipe I am sharing here is the assam sambal prawns as I bought some medium size shrimps and I wanted to make a dish that pair well with it. I was referring this recipe to Nonya Flavours Cookbook and will be sharing the cookbook recipe with some of my changes. I wonder why the photo in that cookbook looks so oily and red whereas mine looks completely different?
Recipe adapted from Nyonya Flavours Cookbook: Sambal Udang with my substitutions in purple.
5 Tbsp. oil
Spice paste (ground):
15g dried chillies, soaked
5g turmeric, sliced (I used 1 tsp. turmeric powder)
30g lemongrass, sliced
40g belachan, toasted (I used 1/2 Tbsp. belachan powder)
10g tamarind pulp (I used instant tamarind juice)
1/4 tsp. salt or to taste
3 Tbsp. sugar, or to taste
500g prawns, shelled and deveined
1. Process the spice paste in a food processor until ground.
2. Heat up the oil in the wok, when heated, add in the spice ingredients and stir-fry until fragrant, about 10-15 minutes.
3. Mix the tamarind pulp with the water and strain mixture before adding to the work. Season with salt and sugar. Bring to a boil.
4. Add in prawns and stir to mix well. Let it boil and until the prawns are cooked. Serve with nasi lemak.