Monday, December 10, 2012

Char Swee, Stir Fried Prawns And Cucumber With Vinegar Sauce

I don't start work until 4.30pm on Saturdays, however I do start my day very early to make use of my precious time off from work. If I am diligent enough, I would make a quick shopping trip and cook a simple meal at home for myself.

This is another everyday Nyonya dish I cooked during one of those very productive Saturdays.  It resembles a much more colourful and vibrant version of stir fried cucumber with prawns, a favourite childhood dish of mine, needless to say this is now a new favourite.

This refreshing sweet and sour dish is a great accompaniment to the other Nyonya dishes with big and complex flavours. Some recipes asked for liver and gizzard as well, feel free to chuck a few in if you are an offal fan.

F.Y.I - char swee = (炒酸) sour stir fry in Hokkien, unlike Nyonya dishes from other parts of the country, those from Penang are often named in the Hokkien dialect rather than Malay.

recipe adapted from Nyonya Flavours
serves 4 as part of a Malaysian meal
you'll need;
oil for cooking
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
400 g of banana prawns, shelled (retaining the tails)
2 tsp of sugar
1/2 a continental cucumber, peeled and seeds removed
1/2 a red onion, peeled and sliced
1 red chili, halved lengthwise, removed seeds and diagonally sliced
1 green chili, halved lengthwise, removed seeds and diagonally sliced
1 carrot, peeled, halved lengthwise and diagonally sliced

for the sauce;
150 ml of stock
4 tbs of white vinegar
1.5 tbs of plum sauce
1 tbs of sugar
salt to taste
1 tsp of white pepper
2 tsp of corn flour

Remove heads and shell prawns (save them for other uses), butterfly and removed the veins. Marinate prawns with sugar, rinse prawns before adding to the wok.

Prepare the cucumber, carrot and the rest of the ingredients.

Place all sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix well, check for seasonings and adjust accordingly.

Saute garlic with 2 tbs of cooking oil in a hot wok and stir fry until is fragrant.

Add cucumber and carrot and continue to stir fry for another minute, add sauce mix, mix well and continue to stir fry until the sauce thicken.

Add onion and chillies and mix well, cook a little longer or until the onion is soften. Check for seasonings, it should be sour, sweet and savoury.

Serve as a part of a Nyonya or Malaysian meal with plenty of steamed rice on the side.

The crazy season has started, we decided a combined Nov/Dec roundup should work better for everyone during the busiest period of the year. I will be hosting the next event, so please send all your entries to me at . To find out more about MMM and on how to enter please click here


  1. Lovely looking dish, I like all sweet and sour dishes and this one is so healthy without the deep frying!

  2. Sangat suka udang tetapi dah tak boleh makan :(..

  3. Very colourful and appetizing dish. Love it a lot!

  4. Interesting combo! Simply irresistible :)

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