Sambal is a pounded chilli paste that can also include garlic, ginger, tamarind, fish sauce and lemongrass. It has many variations, but Malay sambal oelek is one of the most versatile and easily sourced. It’s the lazy person’s dream for cooking as you can dollop it into stir-fries, dressings and dipping sauces. Mixed with tamarind and sweet soy, it creates a perfect hot, salty and sour sauce for any stir-fry.
In a small bowl, mix the tamarind, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar and
Use a sharp knife to slice down the back of each prawn and rinse out the vein.
To make the sambal paste, place the ingredients in a food processor or blender and purée until fine.
In a wok, heat the vegetable oil and cook the paste until darkened, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and stir-fry for about 2–3 minutes. Add the prawns and stir-fry until slightly pink, about 1 minute, and then add the tamarind sauce and tomatoes. Keep stir-frying until the sauce is thickened and sticky.
Serve the prawns with steamed rice, spring onions and a bowl of steamed vegetables.
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