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Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Malaysian Recipe

Assam Sambal Shrimp (Malaysian Style)
Recipe by Penny Phoon

  • 8 oz vegetable oil
  • 2 lbs (36–40) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 white jumbo onions, chopped
  • 2 stalks lemon grass, cut and smashed
  • 8 pieces fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp red chili paste
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 1½ tbsp tamarind powder
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, finely cut
  • 3 whole tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 2 green bell peppers, cubed
  • 1 red bell pepper, cubed
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Sauté onions and lemon grass over medium heat until the onions become transparent and fragrant. Add garlic and chili paste, stirring occasionally. Add ketchup and tamarind powder. Cook for one minute. Add shrimp. When the shrimp turn light pink, add vegetables. Cook for 30 seconds. Add salt and sugar to taste.