ULI Prawn Sambal

How to Make: Nyonya Prawn Sambal

A term for the female descendants of a Chinese ethnic group having relocated to the Malay Archipelago during the 15th century, ‘Nyonya’ cooking (or Perankan) typically blends Chinese ingredients with various distinct spices and cooking techniques used by the Malay/Indonesian community. One such ubiquitous dish that’s gradually become globally renowned: sambal is a hot sauce often taken for granted, regularly enjoyed as a meagre side dish.

With over 300 varieties – ranging from mild to extremely hot – sambal udang (prawn sambal) is a particularly popular variant. The prawns are, technically, the main draw, but never detract from the rich sauce, heady with chilli and garlic. Coinciding with Seafood Week, taking place until Friday 12th October, Notting Hill Pan-Asian restaurant ULI have shared their Nyonya prawn sambal recipe that’s simple to recreate at home. Serve with rice and plenty of sauce.


Fresh green beans, 300g

Raw tiger prawns, 300g, deshelled and deveined

White onion, 1

Salt, to taste

Small onions, 8, pounded,

Garlic, 4 cloves, pounded

Candlenuts, 2, pounded

Belacan (shrimp paste), 30g, pounded

Chilli paste, 3 Tbsp

Sugar, 2 Tbsp

Cooking oil


Heat 3 Tbsp of oil in a wok, stir-fry the small onions, garlic, candlenuts and belacan with chilli paste and sugar until fragrant.

Add all remaining ingredients and stir-fry until cooked.

Serve with rice.

Further information on ULI can be found here.


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