Malaysian Assam Prawns (Tamarind Prawns)

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!

Spicy assam prawns

Spicy assam prawns

It seems quite a while that I have not cooked prawns, one of my top favourites. I had some big prawns when on holiday back in Malaysia recently. That was really delicious….mmmm. I can’t get those fresh prawns here but I’m thankful to have nice ready cooked king prawns and raw tiger prawns.

I have been craving for something spicy and sourish and just thought assam prawns would do the trick. It did! I used the ready Assam Fish Paste which makes cooking very easy and quick. I love this brand of paste, Tean’s. I had used its Curry Laksa Paste to cook Malaysian Curry Fish Laksa, Chicken Curry Paste to cook Fast And Easy Malaysian Chicken Curry and Prawn Noodle Paste to cook Malaysian Prawn Soup Noodles. All of them are very delicious and very easy to cook with the pastes. 

Spicy assam prawns paste

Spicy assam prawns paste

Assam in the Malay language means ’sour’. Tamarind is always used to give the dish the unique sour taste. With all the spices and herbs added, it gives the dish a very beautiful flavour and taste. It is spicy but quite mild. This is a very popular dish in Malaysia. The recipe is very simple. You can use fish too as the picture shows. In fact you can use any seafood.

Cooked king prawns

Cooked king prawns

300g cooked king prawns
1/2 packet Assam fish paste
1C fresh pineapple pieces
1C broccoli
1 & 1/2C water

assam prawn soup

assam prawn soup

Add everything into the assam soup

Add everything into the assam soup

Put the water and assam fish paste into a pot. Once it comes to a boil, add the prawns, broccoli and pineapples. When the broccoli is cooked, turn off the fire. Season with salt and a pinch of sugar to taste. Dish up and serve hot. It goes very well with rice…..appetising and delicious.

I notice that the prawns shrunk when cooked. The best is to add the prawns last. Next time I will use tiger prawns which are juicy, tender and delicious.

Have you ever tried any Malaysian food? Do you have a favourite one to share? Please share, add and comment in the comment box below.

Other prawns recipes that you may be interested in:
Tiger Prawns In Butter Sauce
Pumpkin, Prawns And Coconut Soup (Thai)
King Prawns And Vegetables Stir Fry
Shrimps And Bok Choy Stir Fry
Creamy King Prawns And Marrow Stir Fry
Spicy Seafood Kimchi Soup
Fried Rice Noodles With King Prawns And Chicken
King Prawns And Salmon Curry
Asparagus With King Prawns
Juicy Prawns Omelette
Tamarind (Assam) Tomato Tiger Prawns

More prawn recipes at

Quote of the day……

“Remember happiness doesn’t depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely on what you think.”

Dale Carnegie

Keep Learning Keep Smiling

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google


Sushma Mallya  on July 21st, 2010

Never heard of this assam fish paste but seems like a very nice one…looks so delicious with prawns ..

the lacquer spoon  on July 21st, 2010

Very tempting paste! I love SE Asian style recipes, but often tend to lose the cooking occasion because of lots of exotic spices to collect. My regular supermarket sells some packets for Asian food, so want to find your Assam :)

Cheah  on July 21st, 2010

Lovely tempting prawns! Btw are pineapples pricey in your area?

claire  on July 21st, 2010

Just look at those!! makes me swallow something a moment ago.. :)

Mary  on July 21st, 2010

@Sushma Mallya - Thanks very much, Sushma! :D Hope you can get this assam fish paste at your place. It’s really delicious and very easy to cook.

@the lacquer spoon - One packet can cook 2 times. Give a try first before you buy more to stock. I always stock up if I find it’s delicious. It’s more hard work stocking individual fresh spices. Hope you can find this one at your place. Have fun cooking :D

@Cheah - Thanks very much, Cheah! :D Pineapples cost £1 for a small one….very often not sweet :(

@claire - Haha….wonder what you swallowed! :D

Sarah, Maison Cupcake  on July 21st, 2010

This sounds good, I have tamarind in the fridge but always forget to use it.

anncoo  on July 21st, 2010

Hi Mary, You makes me hungry when seeing the delicious prawn with assam. I also have prawns in my freezer, must take out the prawns and cook something.

Belinda @zomppa  on July 21st, 2010

My mouth is drooling! One of the best flavors…sweetness of tamarind.

Mary  on July 21st, 2010

@Sarah, Maison Cupcake - Tamarind is very commonly used in Asian cooking, especially in sourish dish. Time to cook a special dish with it :D

@anncoo - Oh no…I know it’s going to be another very delicious prawn dish from you…..drooling! If you ever thought of moving to UK, please consider Aberdeen, ok? :D

@Belinda @zomppa - Haha…time to take out your wok and start cooking! :D

Bananazஇ  on July 21st, 2010

Ohhhhh my favorite assam prawns yummy..thankz for your vote for “You’re The Voice”, appreciate it very much tQ

kristy  on July 21st, 2010

Didn’t you had enough during your last visit? hahaha…. Did you pack enough ingredients back there! Can not miss a single ingredients Huh! My computer is down and going to send to the shop tomorrow morning! Going to miss you guys for awhile. Enjoy your day, dear.
Blessings, Kristy

Angie's Recipes  on July 21st, 2010

Assam…that sounds very appetizing! I bet you are going to come up many Malaysian dishes in the near future. I am looking forward to it!

Christine@Christine's Recipes  on July 21st, 2010

Yum yum…. Love the ready-made Assam Fish Paste, easy to cook a delicious dish on the go.

Bo  on July 21st, 2010

I love just about any shrimp dish…This one sounds light and healthy…I’m not familiar with the flavor of the fish paste.

Old Hatfield Pickle Co » Our range of mustards  on July 21st, 2010

[...] Keep Learning Keep Smiling » Malaysian Assam Prawns (Tamarind Prawns) [...]

Mary  on July 21st, 2010

@Bananazஇ - You are most welcome! :D

@kristy - No…can never have enough…that’s why always miss home :P The craving comes back too fast! :D So sorry your computer is down. Hope it’s back running soon! Time for you to take a break. Please take care.

@Angie’s Recipes - I’m missing lots of home food back in Malaysia. Wish I know how to cook all! Will surely share more :D

@Christine@Christine’s Recipes - We are sure getting smarter to use the ready paste :D Makes cooking more fun!

@Bo - Lovely to know you love shrimps. Give a try with this paste. Try to find it at Asian shops. I hope you can get it there. Have fun cooking! :D

penny aka jeroxie  on July 21st, 2010

A paste is good for a quick mid week meal :)

Drick  on July 21st, 2010

oh good, glad to see you are back to cooking shrimp, notice I have not lately and we all know why now don’t we, although shrimp is available, it just isn’t local so I don’t buy it that much….Tamarind fruit is wonderful, we don’t have it fresh here but I have enjoyed it in drinks in Mexico and in desserts too…

Keep Learning Keep Smiling » Malaysian Assam Prawns (Tamarind Prawns) |  on July 21st, 2010

[...] See the rest here: Keep Learning Keep Smiling » Malaysian Assam Prawns (Tamarind Prawns) [...]

busygran  on July 21st, 2010

Succulent-looking prawns yum! Unusual to see broccoli in assam pedas.

Cristina - Teenie Cakes  on July 21st, 2010

A beautiful and hearty looking soup. The tamarind with the pineapple must be a delicious contrast.

lisa ng  on July 21st, 2010

Oh Mary..Mary, never fails! your prawn dishes always make my mouth water hehehe. They are not your usual tiger prawns,but this still looks juicy and with burst of sweet pineapples!wow
I like to put mine near the end afraid of over cooking them;)
Thank you!
CookNg Sisters

Joy  on July 21st, 2010

That looks great. This is similar to a dish we make but with calamancit.

peteformation  on July 21st, 2010

Spicy and sour, I like……can eat more rice! LOL!

Yummy Team  on July 21st, 2010

Interesting dish..Sounds extremely delicious too..

pigpigscorner  on July 21st, 2010

Love sour stuff! So good with rice!

Priya  on July 21st, 2010

Slurppp!!fingerlicking prawns..

Mary  on July 21st, 2010

@penny aka jeroxie - It is…also on lazy days! :D

@Drick - Maybe we should rear our own shrimps/prawns, Drick! :D I will enjoy catching and cooking too :D Can’t get fresh tamarind here too. I use the packeted one. Have not tried it in drink. I should try one day. Never heard of it being used in desserts. Wonder how it taste.

@busygran - I added the broccoli for its colour and also for added nutrients :D I like to use lady’s fingers but it’s difficult to get here sometimes.

@Cristina - Teenie Cakes - It’s is really delicious….very appetising :D Maybe you can try sometime.

@lisa ng - I think I won’t share with anyone if it’s tiger prawns…LOL :D Still happy with this one though.

@Joy - Thanks very much Joy! :D

@peteformation - I must have eaten double the usual amount of rice! :D

@Yummy Team - It is! Give a try :D

@pigpigscorner - It is! It revives any lost of appetite :D

@Priya - Haha……it was sure fun eating :D

lequan@luvtoeat  on July 21st, 2010

Haha, that’s too funny that you posted this dish today because last night I just tried making laksa with this paste and absolutely loved it. I even emailed you a picture of my soup bowl. And now today I see you have another wonderful similar dish up. Our minds are definitely on the same wavelength. Lol. This is another beautiful dish Mary. Thank you for introducing me to this paste. It will be a staple in my pantry for sure.

hopeeternal  on July 21st, 2010

This looks delicious Mary. I have recently bought some tamarind paste and its really tasty. Pity I cannot get your special fish paste here in the UK.
‘Meanderings through my Cookbook’

rebecca  on July 21st, 2010

yummy adore Prawn curries

Devaki @weavethousandflavors  on July 21st, 2010

Dear Mary - I adore assam fish paste and tamarind fish and tamarind prawns. How lovely yours will be over hot rice with the prawns and yummy pineapple and broccoli :)


Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

somewhere in singapore  on July 21st, 2010

Prawns, my favourite!!!

Blackswan  on July 21st, 2010

Yummy, I love assam & one of my fave instant noodles is the Assam Laksa flavour.

Patty  on July 21st, 2010

Wow, wow, wow!!! I love this kind of dish! Spicy and sourish with my favorite animals from the sea….shrimp!!! Oh, I love all those flavors - thank you for the inspiration! Need to make a special trip the asian market to get my ingredients!

Sidney  on July 21st, 2010

Great dish….i love this dish…my mom jus cook this for my family last week…but a slightly more ingredient…prawn, cuttlefish, fishball, meatball, fu chuk, abalone mushroom, button mushroom…really nice…this weekend will be going Pangkor to try out some seafood..then, back Taiping to visit my grandma and parents…

good meal good deal  on July 21st, 2010

Oh, bring on rice ^_^.

Jeannie  on July 22nd, 2010

This is also one of my favorite dishes:D I can eat the whole bowl all by myself! So delicious!

noobcook  on July 22nd, 2010

I love assam for its tangy taste. great idea to use it for prawns!

Jess @ Bakericious  on July 22nd, 2010

Mary, the assam prawns look so appetising, yummy!

Bananazஇ  on July 22nd, 2010

tQ for Voting

Wendy  on July 22nd, 2010

Oooh I love the sharpness of tamarind… and I adore prawns! Another winner, Mary!

Anne  on July 22nd, 2010

I’ve not really had specifically Malyasian food before and not heard of assam paste, though my dad did give me a tub of Malyasian curry powder recently! I do like the look of your prawns though and I like sour things so will have to hunt some down!

Mary  on July 22nd, 2010

I love this recipe. I have one less authentic than yours which my family loves. I’ll have ti try the real thing for them. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

Shirley  on July 22nd, 2010

Assam is a place in the North of India, so I was wondering when I read the title.Lol!

Magic of Spice  on July 22nd, 2010

This looks so good, I love these flavors :)

Roti n Rice  on July 22nd, 2010

I know what you mean about wanting something spicy and sour. This dish should take care of that. Makes me crave some too….

mycookinghut  on July 22nd, 2010

Oh gosh… I also miss the big prawns back home in Malaysia.. I can only look at the pictures and drool.Can only buy frozen tiger prawns at Chinese supermarket. :(
I love assam prawns too.. look really appetising!

Little Inbox  on July 22nd, 2010

I love assam fish and assam prawns. I can serve it with vermicelli.

Mary  on July 23rd, 2010

@lequan@luvtoeat - Thanks very much for the laksa picture you sent me. You made me drool! :D We must be craving for the same thing…haha. have fun cooking!

@hopeeternal - Oh yes, you can get this paste at most Asian shops. You can get it at London Chinatown if you ever go there. I aways stock up good pastes like this one. It makes cooking more fun :D

@rebecca - Thanks very much, Rebecca! :D

@Devaki @weavethousandflavors - Aha…we share similar favourites! :D Totally agree with you….really good over rice…mmm

@somewhere in singapore - Yeah…we share the same favourite!
The world will run out of prawns if there are more people like us LOL :D

@Blackswan - Oh my gosh…didn’t know there’s Assam Laksa Instant noodles! I would love to try one someday :D Haven’t seen one yet.

@Patty - Haha….we are in the same boat! :D Hope you get the paste soon Have fun cooking!

@Sidney - Wow…that’s lots of lovely ingredients!!! I’m drooling! I have to add those next time. The soup must be awesome. Whah…you are going to Pangkor…beautiful place. Please take some nice shots to share with me. I would love to visit it some day. My….you go and visit a nice place and back to Taiping for nice food. You sure have such a great life! :D Now I’m turning green…LOL :D

@good meal good deal - Yes, a big pot, please! :D

@Jeannie - Now I know I have to cook a big pot if you come…haha :D

@noobcook - Me, too! It’s good for those days when the appetite is not there :D

@Jess @ Bakericious - Thanks very much, Jess! :D

@Bananazஇ - You are welcome! :D
tQ for Voting

@Wendy - Thanks very much, Wendy! :D

@Anne - Try out at Asian shops. This paste is very easy to use and very delicious. I really like it. Have fun cooking! :D Hope ou like Malaysian food.

@Mary - There are many variations to this assam prawns. I’m sure yours is very delicious too. It’s lovely to know our family likes it :D

@Shirley - Haha…that’s very interesting! Oh yes, now I remember….Assam tea. It must be from India then! My Geography is improving…LOL :D

@Magic of Spice - Thanks very much! :D

@Roti n Rice - I have to cook again to cure my craving otherwise I may take the next flight home…LOL :D You need to cook too :P

@mycookinghut - Haha…we must be missing a lot of similar things! :D Thank goodness we can get the frozen tiger prawns!

@Little Inbox - I have to try that. Sounds very delicious….mmmm :D

Pepy @Indonesia Eats  on July 23rd, 2010

Mary, one of Malaysian fellows sent me the Tean’s Gourmet spices packages. I did enjoy the mi udang. I haven’t tried this assam one. The picture of your food is very close to what we call gulai udang nanas :)

I want this for my supper :D

tigerfish  on July 23rd, 2010

I always enjoy this dish a lot…very appetizing with steamed rice.

yasmeen  on July 24th, 2010

The prawns look absolutely fresh and appetizing in the spicy soup .

Amy @  on July 25th, 2010

oh my goodnes. the first photo made my tummy grumble. i know have a craving for spicy seafood.

Ananda Rajashekar  on July 25th, 2010

ohhhh Mary, your pic wants me to tear the screen and get in to bowl of curry…..yum yum….:D

pegasuslegend  on July 26th, 2010

as usual you are the queen in making prawns lovely dish!

skip ro malou  on July 27th, 2010

I would like to try this so much so that it is similar to our sinigang… well I think it is. I will have to buy the ingredients first but this dish looks sooooo goooooood! thanks for sharing MARY!

Mary  on July 27th, 2010

@Pepy @Indonesia Eats - The mi udang paste is very delicious too. I’m sure we share a lot of similar dishes as we are just neighbouring countries :D

@tigerfish - Totally agree with you that it’s very appetising with rice :D

@yasmeen - It is. Hope you’ll give it a try one day :D

@Amy @ - I think this one will cure your craving :D

@Ananda Rajashekar - Haha….looks like it’s time for you to cook it :D

@pegasuslegend - Hehe….thanks very much, Claudia! :D

@skip ro malou - I have to check out what is sinigang. Bet it’s very appetising and delicious…mmm. Would love to try :D

Leave a Comment