The delicious fresh seafood from East Malaysia is the focus in this traditional dish from Sarawak. A specialty of the Melanau people, it’s similar to ceviche in that citrus juice is used to lightly cook the prawns. It’s also made with other fish and even squid. Watch out. It can be incredibly spicy.






Skill level

Average: 4.5 (3 votes)


  • 300 g very fresh raw prawns, shelled, intestinal tract removed
  • 6 limes (5 juiced, 1 thinly sliced)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 red Asian shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 bird’s eye chilli, thinly sliced
  • 2 cm piece peeled ginger, julienned
  • cucumber and tomato, to serve


  • 2 bird’s eye chillies
  • 2 red Asian shallots, peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 cm piece peeled ginger

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.


  1. For the paste, roughly chop all the ingredients, then pound together in a mortar and pestle into a coarse paste. 
  2. Roughly chop the prawns and place in a bowl with the paste. Add the lime juice, salt and sugar and stir. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Just before serving, stir through the shallots, chilli, ginger and sliced lime. Serve immediately with cucumber and tomato on the side.


Join Adam & Poh on a Malaysian-Australian eating adventure in Adam & Poh's Malaysia in Australia