Rasa Malaysia left a comment on my Bakmi Ayam Jamur Pangsit post. She wondered if I know how to make Indonesian Prawn Curry that she had while she was in Penang, Malaysia. According to her maid, it was a Java curry and she also described how it looked like and what spices she had tasted were in that curry. I replied it back and told her that I believed it is what we call for Kare Kepiting (Crab Curry) in East Java province. That Penang’s restaurant uses Prawn instead of Crab.
I contacted two of my Indonesian fellows whom I trust as the Eastern Javanese cooking experts, mbak Winda of Les Gourmandises and mbak Lia of Dapur Gue. After discussing the recipe , I came up with my version of Kare Udang. Mbak Lia has a Madurese version of Kari Rajungan which was added cinnamon stick, cumin, and clove in.
Rasa Malaysia, you can modify the recipe that I have here by adding kerisik (literally in English coconut and in bahasa Indonesia kelapa) and substituting for cream instead of santan( literally in English coconut milk).
In this recipe, I also substituted for coconut cream powder and water instead of coconut milk. Based on my experience, keeping the skin and head on, will get a better flavor than removing the skin and head. If you don’t like whole prawns like I had here, you can use peeled prawns and substitute water for shrimp/prawn broth to get tasty curry.
I wrote the word Kare on purpose, just like the Javanese say. Here, it is the recipe.
1.5 kgs giant freshwater prawns
2 lemongrasses, bruised
3 cm galangal (with diameter 2 cm long), bruised
4 kaffir lime leaves
50 g coconut cream powder (or more if you like more thicken)
700 ml water
salt and sugar as desired to season
Grind into a paste
3 cloves garlic
4 candlenuts, toasted
2 tsp coriander seeds, toasted
1 tsp terasi (English: dried shrimp paste, Malay: belachan), toasted
3 cms ginger
3 cms fresh turmeric, roasted (I used 1 tsp toasted ground turmeric)
2 dried red chillies
3 bird’s eye chilies (optional)
1. Rinse off the prawns with tab water.
2. Heat up a large skillet at medium-high, add 4 tbsp oil. Stir fry the spice paste, lemon grass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves until fragrant.
3 . Add prawns, stir evenly until well-mixed with the spice.
4. Add water and coconut cream powder; stir and cook until thicken and the prawn done.