Simple easy nonya assam prawn

This is a classic Malaysian/Nonya dish that is sour and spicy, and it can satisfy your taste buds as well as your stomach.

Assam means – sour-ish (using tamarind).

Normally, we cook this dish with fish, okra, brinjal /eggplant and the gravy is thicker. However, to be innovative, I add different seafood, i.e. prawns, to it with the same base, but I make it a bit watery. And instead of adding the normal vegetables, I added tomatoes and pineapples.

The taste is wonderful and the gravy tastes something like assam laksa without the Vietnamese mint. It is full of flavour and dilute enough to physically “drink” the gravy (soup). I really did; I consumed the whole bowl of “soup”!

The sweetness of the gravy comes from the onion, seafood as well as the pineapple.


6 medium prawns – washed. You can peel as an option.
1/2 Onion – quartered
2 ripe tomatoes – quartered
3 kaffir lime leaves (optional) – tear it into smaller pieces to allow the aroma to flow.
Handful of fresh pineapple – cut into 2 inches pieces
Water – 600ml – feel free to add according to taste. (*adjust according to your taste buds)
1 packet of Nonya Assam Pastes


  1. Mix 600ml water to 250g paste.
  2. Allow the paste to boil, add prawns. Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes until prawns are almost cooked, add tomatoes and pineapple. Continue to simmer for a further 5 minutes or until prawns are cooked.
  3. Turn off the heat and serve hot with rice.

Number of people: 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

Cook’s note:

About the Nonya Assam Curry Paste: This is an authentic tasting Assam paste from Penang. The flavour is already there; you just need to add water and fresh ingredients. I can guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Give it a go and enjoy the dish!

This is the paste I use:  Little Nyonya Assam Paste

 Nonya Assam Ingredients

You can purchase the pastes from Nyonyalicious

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