Sambal udang (prawn with chilli paste) and Roti jala (net bread/ lace crepes) is one of the best combinations when it comes to Malaysian hawker cuisine. These lightly spiced crepes compliment the robust chilli paste and is perfect for snacking on as well as served as a main course; mostly eaten at buffets as you can cook them in bulk and feed the masses.
There are many ways of making sambal but in this instance, I’ve used a Brahim’s Sambal Tumis packet as I opted for the “quick cook and serve” method (as not many of us have time to slave over a mortar, grinding all the ingredients). Even though my base was the ready-made packet, I still needed to add the prawns and onions for this dish. I did make the roti jala from scratch but the equipment to make the laced pattern did not turn out, hence I just made normal crepes (which really did hold a lot more sambal.. yummy!!). The roti jala would also go well with the Sambal sotong recipe mentioned on this website.
Photos courtesy of Marcus Lim
Sambal Udang (serves 4 hungry people for dinner or 6 snackers)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 Brown onions, sliced in ringlets
- 300g prawns (preferably deveined and deshelled or you can leave the tail on)
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 packet Brahim’s Sambal Tumis
- 1 tablespoon kicap manis (thick caramel black sauce) – to darken the sambal (optional)
- Slice onions into ringlets and set aside.
- Heat up a wok. Pour oil into wok and when wok is hot, sweat the onions (cook until onion softens, without colour) and then add the lemon juice and sugar.
- Add the prawns and cook until slightly it turns colour (orange flesh indicates prawns are cooked).
- Next, open the sambal packet and toss into the wok and mix well with onions and prawns. Place the kicap manis into the sambal mixture to darken the sambal. Note: seems to look more appetising when I do this, however, if you like your sambal bright red, then by all means, omit the kicap manis.
- Remove from heat and set aside while you cook the roti jala.
This sambal can be cooled down and refrigerated for future consumption. As it contains prawns, you might only keep this for 3 days, however, if it is plain sambal with onion, it is possible to keep up to a week.
- 375g plain flour
- 325ml milk
- 125ml water
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- oil to grease the pan
- Sieve the flour and set aside.
- In a big bowl, mix all the ingredients well together (except the oil) and strain the batter.
- Add in 1/2 tablespoon of oil and set aside.
- Heat up a pan with medium heat and grease it with some oil.
- Pour some batter on top the hot pan and swirl around (as per making crepes).
- After the top is set and done or when the bottom turns light brown, transfer the Roti Jala out and roll into a spring roll shape.
- Arrange a few Roti Jala on a serving plate and add some Sambal sotong on the side and serve immediately.
Roti jala is best when eaten straight away, so cook them just before serving to guests.
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