Resepi Udang Kam Heong: A Culinary Symphony of Southeast Asian Flavors

Embark on a culinary adventure with resepi udang kam heong, a delectable dish that tantalizes taste buds and captivates hearts in Southeast Asian cuisine. Its vibrant flavors and aromatic ingredients create a symphony of sensations that will leave you craving for more.

Prepare to unravel the secrets of this culinary masterpiece as we explore its essential ingredients, cooking techniques, and cultural significance. Discover how the interplay of sweet, sour, spicy, and savory notes creates a harmonious balance that will delight your palate.


Resepi udang kam heong is a popular Southeast Asian dish that originated in Malaysia. It is a stir-fried dish made with prawns (udang) in a thick, flavorful sauce made from a variety of ingredients, including chili peppers, shrimp paste, belacan, and curry leaves.

Udang kam heong is known for its unique and complex flavors. The dish is spicy, sweet, and savory, with a rich and aromatic sauce. It is typically served with rice or noodles.


  • 1 pound prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili paste
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 handful of cilantro, chopped

Ingredients and Preparation

Resepi udang kam heong is a flavorful dish that combines the richness of prawns with a spicy and aromatic sauce. The key to a successful udang kam heong lies in balancing the flavors and textures of the ingredients.

Essential Ingredients

  • Prawns:Use fresh, large prawns for the best flavor and texture.
  • Dried prawns:These add a savory depth of flavor to the dish.
  • Belacan (shrimp paste):This is the main flavoring ingredient and gives the dish its characteristic umami taste.
  • Chillies:Use a combination of fresh and dried chillies for a balanced level of heat.
  • Curry leaves:These add a fresh, aromatic flavor to the dish.
  • Onions and garlic:These provide a base for the sauce and add sweetness and depth of flavor.

Preparation Methods

To prepare the udang kam heong, start by marinating the prawns in a mixture of belacan, salt, and pepper. This helps to enhance their flavor.

Next, heat some oil in a wok or large skillet and fry the dried prawns until they are fragrant. Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened. Then, add the chillies and curry leaves and cook until the chillies are softened and the curry leaves are fragrant.

Add the marinated prawns to the wok and cook until they are pink and cooked through. Finally, add the kam heong sauce and cook until the prawns are evenly coated and the sauce has thickened.

Balancing Flavors and Textures

The key to a successful udang kam heong is to balance the flavors and textures of the ingredients. The prawns should be cooked until they are tender and juicy, while the sauce should be flavorful and aromatic. The chillies should provide a moderate level of heat, while the curry leaves should add a fresh, aromatic flavor.

Cooking Techniques

In preparing resepi udang kam heong, several cooking techniques play crucial roles in creating the dish’s distinct flavors and textures. Understanding the impact of stir-frying, deep-frying, and steaming allows you to achieve the perfect balance of heat and moisture.


Stir-frying is a technique that involves cooking ingredients in a hot wok or pan with a small amount of oil. This method is ideal for prawns, as it quickly seals in their juices while imparting a slightly charred flavor. Stir-frying also allows you to control the heat intensity, ensuring the prawns cook evenly without overcooking.


Deep-frying is another essential technique used in resepi udang kam heong. This method involves submerging the prawns in hot oil, resulting in a crispy exterior and a tender interior. Deep-frying creates a delightful contrast in textures, complementing the soft and juicy prawns with a satisfying crunch.


Steaming is a gentler cooking technique that involves exposing the prawns to hot steam. This method is often used to cook the prawns before stir-frying or deep-frying. Steaming helps to retain the prawns’ natural flavors and moisture, ensuring they remain tender and succulent throughout the cooking process.

Flavor Profile

The resepi udang kam heong exhibits a captivating symphony of flavors that tantalizes the taste buds. Its complex profile seamlessly weaves together sweet, sour, spicy, and savory notes, creating an irresistible culinary experience.

Sweet and Sour Harmony

The sweetness in the dish stems from the addition of tomatoes, pineapple, and a touch of sugar. These ingredients lend a fruity and vibrant dimension that balances the acidity of the tamarind paste. The sour notes, in turn, provide a refreshing contrast and depth of flavor.

Fiery Spice

The dish’s fiery kick comes from the generous use of dried chilies, chili paste, and chili oil. These ingredients add varying levels of heat, creating a spicy yet harmonious blend that awakens the palate.

Savory Umami

The savory component of the dish is achieved through the use of fermented shrimp paste, oyster sauce, and fish sauce. These ingredients impart a rich, umami-laden flavor that adds depth and complexity to the overall taste.

Aromatic Symphony

Aromatic ingredients, such as garlic, ginger, shallots, and lemongrass, play a crucial role in enhancing the dish’s overall taste. They release fragrant compounds that permeate the dish, creating an irresistible and tantalizing aroma that draws you in.

Variations and Adaptations: Resepi Udang Kam Heong

Resepi udang kam heong is a versatile dish that has been adapted to suit various regional tastes and preferences. Different cultures have incorporated unique ingredients and cooking methods to create their own variations of this beloved dish.

For example, in certain regions of Malaysia, the dish is prepared with a thicker sauce made from a blend of chili peppers, tamarind, and fermented shrimp paste. This variation results in a more intense and flavorful dish that is often served with rice or noodles.

Variations Across Cultures

  • In Thailand, a similar dish called “kung chae nam pla” is made with shrimp cooked in a sauce of fish sauce, lime juice, and chili peppers. This dish is typically served with fresh vegetables and sticky rice.
  • In Indonesia, a variation known as “udang rica-rica” is prepared with shrimp stir-fried in a spicy sauce made from tomatoes, onions, and chili peppers. This dish is often served with steamed rice or a side of vegetables.
  • In the Philippines, a dish called “shrimp sinigang” is made with shrimp cooked in a sour and savory broth made from tamarind, tomatoes, and onions. This dish is typically served with rice or noodles.

Presentation and Accompaniments

Resepi udang kam heong is traditionally served on a large platter, adorned with vibrant colors and aromatic fragrances. The succulent prawns, coated in a rich and flavorful sauce, are the centerpiece of the dish, while the accompanying vegetables and herbs add texture and freshness.

To complement the bold flavors of the udang kam heong, consider serving it with a side of steamed rice or fluffy roti canai. These accompaniments provide a neutral base that allows the flavors of the dish to shine through without overpowering them.

Visual Appeal

To enhance the visual appeal of your udang kam heong, consider the following tips:

  • Arrange the prawns in an eye-catching manner, such as in a circular pattern or along the edges of the platter.
  • Garnish the dish with fresh herbs, such as cilantro or spring onions, to add color and freshness.
  • Use colorful vegetables, such as bell peppers or carrots, to create a vibrant and appetizing presentation.

Cultural and Historical Significance

Resepi udang kam heong holds a significant place in Southeast Asian cuisine, particularly in Malaysia and Singapore. It has its roots in the culinary traditions of the Hokkien Chinese community, who migrated to these regions from southern China centuries ago.

Over time, resepi udang kam heong evolved to reflect the local ingredients and flavors of its adopted home. The dish became popular among all ethnic groups, transcending cultural boundaries and becoming a staple of Southeast Asian cuisine.

Social and Economic Influences

  • Street Food Culture:Resepi udang kam heong gained popularity as a street food dish, sold by hawkers at night markets and roadside stalls. Its affordability and accessibility made it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
  • Economic Growth:The post-World War II economic boom in Southeast Asia led to increased urbanization and disposable income. This fueled the demand for restaurant dining, including dishes like resepi udang kam heong.

Evolution and Adaptation, Resepi udang kam heong

  • Regional Variations:Resepi udang kam heong has undergone regional variations, with different localities developing their own unique interpretations. For example, the Malaysian version is typically spicier and uses more belacan (shrimp paste), while the Singaporean version is milder and uses more tomato sauce.

  • Modern Adaptations:In recent years, chefs have experimented with modern adaptations of resepi udang kam heong, incorporating elements from other cuisines and using innovative techniques. These adaptations have expanded the appeal of the dish to a wider audience.

End of Discussion

Resepi udang kam heong is not merely a dish; it is a culinary testament to the rich tapestry of Southeast Asian flavors. Its versatility and adaptability have allowed it to transcend borders and adapt to local tastes, making it a beloved dish across the region.

Whether enjoyed as a main course or as part of a larger feast, resepi udang kam heong is a culinary experience that will leave a lasting impression.

FAQ Compilation

What is the key ingredient in resepi udang kam heong?

Prawns or shrimp

What is the origin of resepi udang kam heong?


Can resepi udang kam heong be made without chili peppers?

Yes, but it will have a milder flavor