Sambal green beans with prawn

I’ve been wanting to make sambal green beans for sometime.  This is one spicy dish we always order when we eat out at Malaysian restaurants.

Sambal is a chili-based sauce with many variations depending on the ingredients used to make it.  Malaysian sambal belachan is made with red chilies, dried shrimp paste (belachan) and lime juice.  It was actually kind of difficult to find a recipe for sambal green beans on-line.  Maybe I wasn’t looking in the right place or didn’t put in the right search words in google.

The recipe I settled on turned out good, but not great.  It didn’t taste perfect, but I can’t put my finger on what’s missing.  Maybe it’s because I didn’t use the suggested sambal oelek or substituted soy sauce for kechap manis (Indonesian soy sauce) or because the sauce came from a jar and turned out too thin.  Or maybe it needed more sambal or dried shrimp. 

 I guess I will just have to try another recipe next time.

Recipe (from Rouxbe Recipes):

  • 1 lb shrimp or prawns (16 to 20 count)
  • 1 tbsp sambal oelek (or to taste)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or kechap manis
  • 1/4 cup mirin*
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic (approx 2 tsp minced)
  • 1 inch piece ginger (approx 2 tsp minced)
  • 1/2 pound Chinese long beans or regular green beans cut into 4″ -inch long pieces
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil (untoasted)
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil

*Note: Mirin is sweetened rice wine. If you cannot find it, you could use some rice wine vinegar and a bit of sugar instead.

  1.  To clean the shrimp, peel and devien.
  2. Place into a medium glass or stainless-steel bowl.
  3. Next, add the sambal, soy sauce and mirin.  Stir to combine.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for up to 6 hours (but at least 1 hr).
  5. Heat a wok or large fry pan over medium-high heat.
  6. Once hot, add the sesame/grapeseed oil, followed by the minced garlic and ginger.
  7. Cook, stirring almost constantly, until the garlic just begins to take on a very light golden color. This should take only about 10 seconds or so.
  8. Next, add the green beans and continue to toss. Make sure to get right under the beans, lifting and tossing them with the garlic and ginger. If the garlic looks like it is starting to burn, you can take the pan off of the heat for a minute.
  9. Cook the beans for a minute or two, or until they start to turn a bright green color (they will continue to cook once you add the shrimp).
  10. Once the beans are ready, add the shrimp, along with the marinade. Just be careful as the liquid from the marinade will likely cause some steam.
  11. Let this cook, stirring constantly until the sauce has reduced and thickened and the shrimp have cooked through. This should take about 3 to 5 minutes.
Notes and Tips:
I like my sauce, so I used the same amount of marinade ingredients, garlic and ginger for half the  amount of prawn and green beans.  I also marinated the prawns overnight and removed them from the pan after 3 minutes to prevent overcooking while the green beans cooked.
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3 thoughts on “Sambal green beans with prawn

  1. as an alternative to the indonesian soy sauce, i think normal soy sauce would do… but add a bit of sugar to change it’s texture and make it a bit sweeter. 🙂 i think the same applies (the sweeter soy sauce) for other country’s soy sauce (like in thailand or in japan). 😀 well, that’s what i know. hehe
    i love shrimps!!!!

  2. Pingback: A new recipe, a new look | trials in food

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