Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Udang Gulai Nenas 娘惹鳳梨蝦 Prawns With Spiced Pineapple Gravy - "Malaysian Monday 44"

I am an extremely lazy cook but thanks to Malaysian Monday, I have been making an effort to cook something from home once a week at least for the past one year. Despite my hard work very few of my friends actually seek to try out any of my Malaysian dishes. There are way too many excuses; too complicated, too oily, too many ingredients etc...etc... And to prove them wrong I have prepared a dish that is extremely easy to prepare, fat free and with so few ingredients one can simply do without a shopping list.
This is a very aromatic Nyonya dish; it is a little sweet, a little tart and with just enough kick from the spices to get you out of your mid-winter hibernation. Well...that almost sums up this wonderful dish that I am sharing with you today I think. With both Melaka and Penang (together with Singapore, these former Straits Settlements all have rich Nyonya/Peranakan heritage) now on the "must visit" list for tourists visting Malaysia after gaining their world heritage status, I can only hope the fabulous Nyonya cuisine will also gain the recognition it truly deserved.

serves 4 as part of a Malaysian meal
you'll need;
600 g of whole prawns
1/2 a pineapple, peeled, eyes removed and cut into chunks
900 ml of prawn stock* or water
2 tbs of sugar
salt to taste
1 tamarind peel (optional)
1 bunch of Thai basil, picked (about 1 cup)
*for the prawn stock - simply simmer reserved prawns shell and heads (I always have some in my freezer) with water for 20 minutes and before removing the solids.

for the spice paste;
6 large shallots or 20 Asian shallots
3 cm piece of fresh turmeric, peeled and chopped
5 cm piece of galangal, peeled and chopped
5 red chillies, chopped
2 tsp of shrimp paste (belacan)

Cut off the pointy end of the prawn heads and remove the sand sacks.

Prepare the pineapple.

Chop up the fresh spices will make pounding or blending a lot easier.

Process the spices until a fine paste is achieved, add a little water if needed.

Place spice paste together with prawn stock or water, sugar and pineapple in a wok or pan and bring it to a boil.

Lower the heat and simmer until the sauce is thicken. Season with salt.

Add prawns and allow the prawns to poach gently in the gravy.

Finally add in the Thai basil and stir through.

Serve immediately with plenty of steamed rice.


  1. Harriet from carltonJune 28, 2011 at 10:46 PM

    Looks and sounds absolutely to die for!

  2. I had some fresh pineapple languishing in the fridge; now I know what to do with it!

  3. It is very healthy and simple, hopefully I can find some galangal near me!

  4. I can always count on you for delicious prawn dishes. This looks very appetizing!

  5. Wow! 娘惹鳳梨蝦 is great! I can easily eat up two bowls of rice with it!!

  6. That's great, not too complicated so I can whip it up for lunch for one :) No one else is really a fan of prawns, so I get to eat it all, he he he.

  7. Very delicious. I grow many kinds of herbs but always forget to pluck some and use for cooking. Now I know what I should do with our thai basil and we so love prawn in any dish.


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