1 cup
Average: 3.7 (20 votes)


  • 30 g (¼ cup) large dried shrimp (see Note)
  • 2 cm-piece seedless tamarind paste (see Note)
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) peanut oil
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 4 small Asian red eschalots (see Note), thinly sliced
  • 8 garlic cloves, sliced
  • ½ tsp coarsely ground chilli (see Note)
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste (ngapi) (see Note), dissolved in 3 tsp water

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soak shrimp for 15 minutes, then drain. Pat dry with paper towel. Process in a food processor for 2 minutes to a powder.

Soak tamarind in 2 tbsp hot water for 10 minutes, then strain through a fine sieve. Discard the solids and reserve 1 tbsp liquid.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok over medium heat. Add ¼ tsp turmeric and the eschalots, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a plate. Return wok over medium heat and cook garlic for 3 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a plate.

Add remaining 1 tbsp oil to wok and return over medium heat. Stir in remaining ¼ tsp turmeric, shrimp powder and chilli. Cook for 1 minute or until a foaming paste. Stir in tamarind liquid, shrimp paste, 100ml water, ½ tsp sugar and ¼ tsp salt. Cook for 4 minutes or until slightly reduced. Reduce heat to low and stir for 2 minutes or until mixture starts to dry. Stir in eschalot mixture and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 month.

* Available from Asian food shops.

As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 8, pg145.

Photography by John Laurie.