While I know that Peranakan is famous for this prawn pineapple curry but we have been eating this dish rather frequently though we are not Peranakan. My late parents used to cook this dish whenever they have extra pineapples and cooked with or without prawns. Sometime coconut milk was added to make it more creamy or lemak but at times, coconut milk was omitted which is equally delicious. Therefore, I am rather familiar with the taste of this dish.
While this recipe is 90% similar to the peranakan recipe, but there is one ingredient that my late parents never added and hence it was not included in this recipe. It is the salted fish which many peranakan families have added. I will list it as an optional ingredients for readers to decide.
As I have said earlier, I like sambal fried pineapples, with or without prawns and with or without coconut milk. The dish is aromatic and appetizing. With this pineapple dish, I would need no other dish for my meal. I humbly think that prawns are optional and usage of big prawns is a waste. My late parents used small prawns if added. There are many other ways to savour big prawns and the prawns aroma will be masked by the strong pineapple and curry flavour .
A very simple recipe that uses no exotic herbs and most herbs easily planted in the gardens. What can go wrong with the combination with these herbs? In fact, most sambal dishes uses the same herbs. Having said that, I know there are Taiwan and Australia members who may not have access to the ingredients, therefore i have listed out it as optional. Trust me, the taste will not be far off.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: 4-6 adult servings
- 500 grams of prawns (either de-shelled or with shell) （ 虾 ）
- 300 grams of pineapples, sliced or canned pineapples （凤梨）
- 200 grams of coconut milk （椰浆）
- 2 tablespoons of tamarind paste (assam) mixed with 1 cup of water (substitutable with vinegar) （罗万子， 可用醋代替）*
- 50 grams of salted fish bones or sepat ikan masin (咸鱼） *
Rempah (spice mix) （香料）
- 1-2 lemon grass (香茅）
- 3-4 red chilli （红辣椒） or 2 tablespoons of chilli powder （辣椒粉）
- 3 cm of turmeric （黄姜） or 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder （黄姜粉）
- 3 cm of galangal （蓝姜）*
- 5 buah keras （石栗） or macadamia nuts （夏威夷果）*
- 8 shallots （小葱头）
- 8 cloves of garlics （蒜头）
- 10 grams of belachan or shrimp paste （虾酱）*
- Pinches of salt (盐巴适量）
- 3 tablespoons of sugar （白糖）
* Optional ingredients for overseas readers.
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Put all the rempah or spice mix ingredients in a blender, add a bit of water and blend until it forms a fine paste.
- In a frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil, add the blended spice mix ingredients, stir fry under medium heat until it is aromatic and oils start to sip out of the spice mix. In this process, constant stirring is required and it took about 10 minutes.
- Put the tamarind paste in one cup of water, stir until well mix, sift and set aside. You can use vinegar as an alternative and mix with one cup of water.
- Once the spice mix stir frying was done, add the tamarind paste water, pineapple followed by the coconut milk. Bring to boil and once it boils, reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the prawns and seasonings (sugar and salt) and once the prawns have set (about 2-3 minutes), off the heat and the dish is ready to go with white rice.
Personally, I prefer the no coconut milk, no prawns version that my late mum used to cook. Plain stir fry pineapple in this manner is delicious too and appetizing. Don’t be deter to cook this dish if you cannot find the ingredients, in fact many ingredients in small quantities are rather optional. I will omit these if I cook the dish in Australia or Taiwan but no reasons for me to omit if I am cooking in Singapore and Malaysia since it is easily available. Of course this spice mix can also use to cook fishes, squids and other seafood or poultry.
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