My Amah’s Sambal Udang Petai



We kick off our sambal fortnight with a heartwarming story from Alex. Let us tell you that her feisty grandmother's sambal is kick-ass, and she is delighted to share it with the world...


by Alexa P. Photography FriedChillies Thu, January 21, 2010
HomeCooking


I have an unusual relationship with my Amah (grandma). To start off with she's my step-grandma, and since I lived abroad for 16 years while growing up I never really got close to her. Distance contributed to the fact that my current relationship with Amah is awkward at best. We do the usual greetings and goodbyes at family gatherings but never really talk. And it has been like this for the past 27 years until I recently took an interest in her cooking and recipes.

Amah has a set repertoire when it comes to the dishes she serves when we visit her. One specialty we always look forward to is her sambal udang petai and when I asked her to teach me the recipe I had no idea that I would be on my way to building a better relationship with her. I spent an afternoon learning her dishes and for the first time in my life we bonded. She was so excited to teach me and I was just as eager to learn. She could not stop talking proudly about how she learnt this specific sambal from a Malay friend of hers in Penang and how in her cooking she loves adding twists here and there to make unique dishes.

Have wok, will cook sambal udang

I observed as she deftly prepared the sambal with an expertise that only comes from years of experience in the kitchen. She could practically cook with her eyes closed. Amah was so quick that I had to watch closely to make sure I didn’t miss a thing. And her way of giving me the recipe was through quantities and how much things cost. “50 cents worth of grated coconut”… “tamarind you only need like this much” as she shows me a little glob the size of a golf ball… “and belacan no need, but can also”. Cooking done this way by look and feel rather than reducing it down to cups and spoons is the type of cooking our mothers and grandmothers have always gotten by with. And judging by the taste of their food, they’ve probably got it right!

If you had seen us in that kitchen you would have thought we had always been very close. I suppose it's true when they say food brings people closer together.

"Learning this sambal udang brought us closer together"

Sambal Udang Petai


Ingredients:
1kg Prawns (cleaned, shelled and deveined)
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
10 shallots, roughly chopped
2 handfuls of dried chili
3 stalks of lemongrass, pounded
1/2 cup santan (preferably fresh)
3 Tbs oil
3 Tbs asam jawa, soaked
1 inch belacan
Handful of Petai
Salt to taste


Method:
Boil the dried chili in water for 10 minutes then rinse it with cold water and get rid of the seeds. This will ensure that the sambal is not too spicy. Blend the chili in a blender to make it into a paste and set aside.

In a large wok heat the oil and sauté the shallots, garlic, lemongrass and belacan till fragrant and brown. Add the blended chili paste and keep stirring. Wait till the oil rises and add a splash of the asam jawa. Stir, then add a splash of santan.

Turn the heat down and let it simmer and stir occasionally. Add the rest of the tamarind water and another splash of santan. Keep stirring and let the sauce thicken. Once the sauce is thick you can add the prawns just for a few minutes till they are cooked through.

Take out the prawns once they are cooked so you don't overcook them. You can now choose to add the petai and cook for another 10minutes adding more santan to taste. Once the sambal is done you can add the prawns and serve with rice.





You must be logged in to post comments






     
Advertisement

How-To Cut A Pineapple

How-To Cut A Pineapple

02:33

Cutting a pineapple is so simple. Alex shows you how to do it.


How-To Get Rid Of Oil Stains

How-To Get Rid Of Oil Stains

00:47

Learn the easy way to get rid of oil stains...


How-To Get Rid of Pesky Roaches

How-To Get Rid of Pesky Roaches

00:23

Get rid of pesky roaches naturally.


How-To Make Teh Tarik

How-To Make Teh Tarik

00:35

Learn how to make your teh tarik frothy.


How-To Combat Heatiness

How-To Combat Heatiness

00:44

Learn how to combat post-durian heatiness from Alia.






Latest Comments

Hello Fried Chillies! Thank you for reviewing our burgers. We really appreciate it! For those who are looking for more information — http://facebook.com/mrjuniorburger
By r0lodex on 2014 Jan 30
From the entry 'Mr. Junior Burger'.
I Eat Nasi Lemak details have been updated with more ticket location information and event agenda grin Have a great Nasi Lemak day guys!
By The Foodster on 2013 Nov 03
From the entry 'Bawa Bertenang dan Makan Nasi Lemak'.
Whoa... weekends. I am sure that the queue is very long. Sabar je lah
By The Foodster on 2013 Oct 28
From the entry 'Nasi Lemak Tanglin'.
I always go to Tanglin whenever me and my gang craves for Nasi Lemak on weekends morning, never look back!
By deen.shamshuri on 2013 Oct 28
From the entry 'Nasi Lemak Tanglin'.
Close to event day, check this space as we will be posting parking information, maps and howto. Many people are not aware that TMCC is just beside the Telekom Malaysia's Menara Rebung tower. It's accessible via the Kerinchi LRT Station (Kelana Jaya Line)
By The Foodster on 2013 Oct 27
From the entry 'Bawa Bertenang dan Makan Nasi Lemak'.
We will be posting maps, schedule of events and parking information very soon.
By The Foodster on 2013 Oct 26
From the entry 'Bawa Bertenang dan Makan Nasi Lemak'.
The lontong place is where I've been getting my fix since I could eat solid food. In fact, I wrote about it here: http://www.friedchillies.com/articles/detail/a-love-letter-to-section-14-petaling-jaya :D
By The Charlie on 2013 Jul 28
From the entry 'Top 5 Picks @ PaRam Seksyen 14, Petaling Jaya'.
Thanks for your recommendation. what's good at the German deli?
By Adly on 2013 Apr 24
From the entry 'myBurgerLab'.
i think friedchillies need to post about German Deli Imbiss at Petronas Ampang Jaya, behind of Ampang Puteri Hospital.
By Muhammad Haziq Mohd Hajaraih on 2013 Apr 23
From the entry 'myBurgerLab'.
Looks not bad. Too bad they are in Kepong. Could open a few more branches.
By kons on 2013 Mar 24
From the entry 'Happy City Steamboat'.