Mummy Ping’s Sambal prawns & green beans

This curry is traditionally very hot – halve or even quarter the amount of dried chillies and serve with plenty of rice for a less fiery dish

  • Prep:20 mins
    Cook:25 mins
    plus soaking
  • Serves 8
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 521
  • fat 37g
  • saturates 5g
  • carbs 20g
  • sugars 19g
  • fibre 4g
  • protein 25g
  • salt 1g


  • 500g green beans, trimmed and halved on the diagonal
  • 1kg raw, shelled king prawns (defrost if frozen)
  • 200ml vegetable oil
  • 100g tamarind paste, or juice 3 limes, see tip below left
  • 2 tbsp chicken stock powder
  • 3 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 20 small dried red chillies
  • 16 lemongrass stalks, tender parts only
  • 450g shallots, roughly chopped
  • 50g candlenuts or macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil



Tamarind is acidic and can affect the texture of delicate prawns. Blanching the prawns first will keep them firm. They don't need much cooking, so check the sauce for seasoning before you put the prawns in.


  1. First, make the spice paste. Soak the dried chillies in hot water for 20 mins until soft. Drain, then mix the chillies with the rest of the spice paste ingredients in a processor or blender to make an even, fine-textured paste.

  2. Put a large pan of water on to boil, then drop in the green beans and cook for 3 mins. Lift the beans from the water, cool under cold running water, then drain. Using the same pan of water, cook the prawns for 1-2 mins, until they have just turned pink, then run these under cold water too.

  3. Heat the oil a large wok or frying pan and fry the spice paste over a medium heat for 8-10 mins. Stir in the tamarind paste, chicken stock powder and sugar, and cook for 2 mins. Add the prawns, green beans and 4 tbsp water, and cook for 4-5 mins more until the prawns are completely cooked through and the beans are just tender. Serve immediately with the Pandan steamed rice (see 'Goes well with').

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