/ Friday, August 27, 2010 / 11 Comments / , , , ,

Assam Prawns-2010 Merdeka Open House

Assam Prawns is one of my family’s favorite assam dishes. Great when enjoyed with just some steamed rice. One of the key ingredients in this mouth-watering dish is the fresh “bunga kantan” or torch ginger flower. Unfortunately, whenever I cook this dish in Vancouver, I had to substitute it with dried torch ginger flowers instead as it’s not available over there. I took the opportunity to cook-up this Assam Prawns using fresh torch ginger flowers which are available everywhere here in Kuala Lumpur. Simply fantastic!

This year Malaysia will be celebrating 53 years of independence from the British on August 31st 2010. Using a different theme every year, Babe in the City – KL organizes it’s popular virtual Merdeka Open House, a popular practice with Malaysians to share great food with friends and family. Food from Our Hearts was chosen as the theme this year. So, my contribution to this annual celebrations will be on Babe in the City – KL’s blog on August 31st 2010. Do check out the site for all the other scrumptious recipes and stories submitted by many talented Malaysian food bloggers. Have fun and Happy Merdeka Day Malaysia!

Assam Prawns


Spice Paste
20 g Dried Chilies, soaked in boiling water and drained
3 Fresh Red Chilies, seeded
100 g Shallots, peeled
15 g Fresh Turmeric, peeled
4 Candlenuts
2 tsp Shrimp Paste (Belacan)

4 to 5 Tbsp of Peanut Oil
80 g Polygonum Leaves
3 to 4 Fresh Ginger Torch Flowers (Bunga Kantan), halved
50 to 80 g Tamarind Pulp + 3 ½ Cups of water
2 to 3 Tbsp of Sugar
800 g Large Prawns
1 medium Red Onion, sliced
12 Okra (lady fingers)
2 Tomatoes, quartered
1 Cup Freshly cut Pineapples
Sea Salt to taste
15g Fresh Mint Leaves


Finely grind the spice paste ingredients with a little water in a blender or food processor.

In a large wok or saucepan, heat the peanut oil over low to moderate heat. Cook the spice ingredients until fragrant (about 5 minutes)

Then add the torch ginger and polygonum leaves. Cook the mixture for about 4-5 minutes. Turn the heat on high and mix in the tamarind water and sugar. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.

Then add the prawns, onions, okra, tomatoes, and pineapple. Bring the mixture to a boil again and reduce the heat to simmer until the prawns and vegetables are cooked. Season the Assam prawns with sea salt and sugar, if necessary. Serve immediately with some fresh mint leaves.
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  1. That looks delicious. I like the combination of okra, tomatoes, and pineapple.

  2. Hmm one of my fave dish but it's always screaming for more rice :p

    Thank you for participating!

  3. Just reading the ingrediants is making me drool. Lovely!

  4. Angie, thank you for sharing your assam shrimps with us! Lovely photography and styling, as always.

    I'm sorry that I didn't get to meet up with you whilst you were in KL. Oh, well! I can learn more about the meet-up from Wendy and Swee San later ... =)

    Happy Merdeka Day to you! Take care!

    With warmest regards from KL,

  5. Haha, I just posted up assam fish! Yours look very good ... want to swope! Had an invite from Pei-Lin to join "Merdeka Day" but unfortunately am a bit late, next year then! In the meantime I am enjoying the visual feast.

  6. This looks delicious. I love the prawns in shell, they're so aesthetically pleasing. Now if I can just figure out where to find these ingredients in Reno, NV, I'll definitely give this a try!

  7. i love assam anything, especially prawns. this looks amazing!

  8. I love prawn dishes and this one looks nice and hearty !

  9. Hi. Where did you find dried torch ginger in Vancouver?

    1. I'm afraid it's not available here.


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