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Tag / asam-prawn

This is a really quick and simple Penang Nyonya Style Asam Prawn recipe from mom. To us, asam prawn was always this version, and it wasn’t until I came to KL when I found out there is also the asam curry version like the one at Hoowan, Kelana Jaya.

While both versions make use of asam (tamarind), they couldn’t be more different.

steps in cooking Asam Prawn
steps in cooking Asam Prawn

Ingredients:

  • 600 gram big white prawn, cut away the tentacles and legs
  • 2 tablespoon of asam (less than RM 2 per packet)
  • 2 tablespoon of dark soya sauce or cooking caramel
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • optionally, some greens like cabbage

glorious Penang Nyonya style asam prawn
glorious Penang Nyonya style asam prawn

Here’s the instructions:

  • mix dark soya sauce, sugar, asam, and prawn in a mixing bowl
  • heat up cooking oil to medium/high heat
  • fry till the shells starts to show some caramelize a little
  • serve on a couple cabbage leave (just for presentation la)

haze enjoying some prawns
haze enjoying some prawns

Like me, some of you might hate peeling prawns on dinner table, but it is important to not cook this dish with prawns that have their shell removed since you will lose the juiciness of the prawn that way.

The seasoning will naturally sip into the prawn and using your mouth to peel the prawn also ensure that you get to suck on the caramelized bits off it. It’s fantastic. I recommend a good home-made sambal to go with this.

In many ways, Korean food is like a bastard child of East Asian cuisine. With THE big brother Japanese food enjoying tremendous success around the world with a million types of Japanese restaurants from conveyor belt restaurants to ramen stalls to supermarket takeaway, Korean cuisine is still largely represented by Korean BBQ places.

Most Korean restaurants look the same, a hold in the middle of the table, with an exhaust vent extended from the ceiling. With such specifications and most foods involving BBQ meat with full service, Korean restaurants are also typically out of many young adult’s budget. It became a bit of a one-in-a-while cuisine, like Japanese food 20-30 years, or French food today (and most likely, forever.)

KimichiHaru at Jaya One, PJ
KimichiHaru at Jaya One, PJ

Then there’s KimchiHaru, a quaint little restaurant located at the slightly less glamourous corners of Jaya One. I actually discovered this little restaurant while making my rounds in the parking lot looking for a spot. The photos and menu on the outside looks enticing and reasonably priced, hence we went in for a quick lunch.

Sam Gye Tang and Beef Bulgogi set
Sam Gye Tang and Beef Bulgogi set

A quick look at the menu revealed the usual Korean BBQ dishes – the chicken, pork, and beef bulgolgi, kimchi soup, fish/pork cutlet, and spring rolls too. We ordered Sam Gye Tang (chicken soup with ginseng, RM 23) and Beef Bulgogi (RM 23).

Instead of the unlimited supply of banchan (side dishes) found at full service Korean restaurants, we were served with 4 small portions of them with kimchi and salad too.

While the kimchi was a bit lackluster and the banchans we had were nothing to shout about, the sam gye tang turned out to be pretty decent, it was a quarter of a pretty good size chicken with the typical ingredients you find in such dish. I finished the soup too. Haze’s beef bulgogi was commendable too.

Haze and KY at KimchiHaru
Haze and KY at KimchiHaru

To me, KimchiHaru represents a step in the right direction for Korean food in this country, with it’s affordable menu (weekday bibimbap at RM 9.80, lunch set at RM 17.80), clean and modern set up, it is sure to attract younger crowd that will graduate to appreciate Korean food.

map to Jaya One, Petaling Jaya

Address:
KimchiHaru
No. 13-LG1 Block D, Jaya One,
No 72A, Jalan University,
46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.118298,101.635294
Tel: 03-7629 8020

Did you know that Karak highway isn’t the only route going from KL to Genting Highland? Long before the shiny toll way was built, there was an older road from just behind Batu Caves going to Genting via a little town called Ulu Yam. That road is still there, and remain my favorite way to go up to the highland retreat if time is on my side.

There are a few reasons:

  • The scenery is beautiful, especially when you drive by Batu Dam lake.
  • the winding road makes driving a pleasure
  • coconut shrimps at ulu yam!

Okay, maybe mostly about the coconut shrimps..

Coconut Shrimp at Hock Lay Restaurant, Ulu Yam
Sammy liked it!

The first time I went there was on the new year eve of 2006 with the MR2 club. Wait, I just realized that’s more than 2.5 years ago… Anyway, I went there again a few months ago with Sammy (her account) and of course, we ordered the coconut shrimps, and a plate vegetable to go with rice.

We had actually ordered the lala as well but I must applaud the honesty of the shop keeper in informing us that lala wasn’t very fresh that day and advised us against ordering it.

Coconut Shrimp at Hock Lay Restaurant, Ulu Yam
prawns, slurps slurps

Coconut Shrimps is basically a curry dish where by they stuff a lot of prawns cooked much like the asam prawn style into a fresh coconut. The curry mixed with coconut creates a unique taste that is both spicy, sour, and slightly sweet of coconut taste; very unique and rather tasty. Onion, garlic and chili padi makes up part of the ingredients too.

map to Hock Lay Restaurant, Ulu Yam
Ulu Yam is some 27 kilometers from batu caves

There was plenty of prawns in that one single coconut and we thoroughly it. The ingredients were fresh and curry flavorful. Even the simple fried vegetable dish was rather delightful too.

If I remember correctly, that meal was less than RM 35 for the two of us. Value for money, and great tasting too. Give it a try if you’re up for an alternate way to Genting. GPS coordinate might not be spot on, but it won’t be far off.

Address:
14, Kampung Baru,
Ulu Yam Baru, 44300
Ulu Selangor, Selangor

GPS: 3.427212, 101.659948
Tel: 03-6075 1826, 012-228 2546

Lucky Loke tai chau (大炒) stall is situated just a stone’s throw away from where I live, and naturally I have been there on quite a number of occasions. However, due to the poor quality of pictures taken on previous visits, I have not had the chance to post about this place until now.

Lucky Loke garlic fish
glorious garlic fish, not to be missed

Lucky Loke is quite an established tai chau place, always the busiest among the 3 places that are around the same area. We decided to have some decent dinner there after coming back from a rather enjoyable karting session last Saturday.

But first, allow me to digress a bit:

  • In the morning, Kelvin asked Kerol “hey wanna go kart?”
  • “huh? I don’t have, why do you want it?”
  • We were quite puzzled until we figured out that she didn’t have Gold Card, only Silver Cards..

Lucky Loke asam prawn
sorry kim, you missed the dinner

Anyway, for the 3 of us, we ordered the must-eat signature dish that is the garlic fish (siakap), asam prawn, and a plate of Hong Kong kailan. Naturally, we have white rice to go with these dishes.

Lucky Loke hong kong kailan
garlic fish, HK kailan, and asam prawn

The garlic fish was excellent as usual. Served with plenty of raw garlic and chili padi on top of the deep fried fish with their special sauce (tasted like fish sauce with some vinegar and other ingredients), the texture of the fish and the taste was just right. Having it deep fried also mean that we didn’t have to worry too much on the bones.

The asam prawn was surprisingly good too, the asam base was very thick and flavorful. There’s garlic, egg plant, and tomato as garnish to the main item, the big size tiger prawns. It was just as good as the one served at restaurant Hoowan at Kelana Jaya. The Hong Kong kailan tasted a bit old this time, but it was still alright.

Lucky Loke map at Petaling Jaya SS3
Lucky Loke is at Restaurant Kean Fatt

The dinner costs about RM 17 for each of us, not the most economical meal there is, but we are still plenty satisfied, it was just so good. Lucky Loke is also famous for their pork rib (phai kuat wong, 排骨王), you should give it a try if you haven’t yet.

Lucky Loke is located at Restaurant Kean Fatt, just directly behind the Taman Bahagia LRT station in SS3. The same restaurant also serves the famous pork noodle for breakfast and lunch.

Address:
Lorong SS3/59E
Petaling Jaya
47300 Selangor

GPS: 3.109577, 101.611776

One night while on the way to the usual SS2 square for dinner, we spotted the “Fresh Coconut Asam Prawn” banner under the Nyonya Restaurant with a pretty appetizing picture of the said dish. Having not a clue on what to eat, I decided to try out the place.

Nyonya Restaurant at PJ SS2
cleaned and air conditioned environment with simple deco

The place serves traditional Nyonya food, chicken, vege, seafood, and also including several different types of kuih. The setting is pretty clean and comfortable, with simple no-fuss decoration that creates a pretty decent dining environment.

Nyonya Restaurant at PJ SS2
the fresh coconut asam prawn and petai with dried oyster

As there was only two of us, I decided to try the advertised asam prawn, and the sambal petai with dried oyster to go with rice. The asam prawn came in a fresh coconut but the serving wasn’t very big, in total there were perhaps half a dozen medium to big size prawns. Basil leaves, pineapple cubes, and brinjal are the other main ingridients that makes up this pretty decent dish.

The sambal petai was absolutely delightful. Stinky petai with some good size dried oysters fried in sambal with onion. It was pretty spicey but goes down very well with rice. I just wished the serving was larger though.

Nyonya Restaurant at PJ SS2
are you feeling hungry? *droolssss*

The dinner cost about RM 50 for two, which was a little on the high side. It is a nice place to bring diners who likes to try local food in a nice, quiet and clean environment, such as your mother in law or that European friend of yours. If it’s just me, I’ll go for the Asam Prawn at Kelana Jaya instead.

Nyonya Restaurant at PJ SS2
map to the nyonya restaurant yo!

Address:
52, Jalan SS2 / 24,
47300 Petaling Jaya

Tel: 03-7875 9709
GPS: 3.114355, 101.621271