Audra Morrice’s Sticky Peppered Tamarind Prawns

“Prawns were my absolute favourite growing up. My mother used to cook it for me all the time, and always with the shells on so you’d have to get in there with your fingers. So this dish represents memories of my upbringing in Singapore. With this dish, I wanted people to use their fingers to eat as it’s sticky, mouth watering and morish, and I think that’s the way food is often enjoyed in Singapore. The different varieties of flower/herb salad represents the “garden city” and multicultural Singapore. The way it’s presented has a modern take so playing with modern Singapore alongside familiar flavours (i.e. tamarind.), which represents the unforgotten old culture and traditional dishes of Singapore” Audra Morrice.


350g black tiger king prawns (about 8 medium prawns)
1 tsp coarsely ground white pepper
3/4 tsp smoked salt (The Original Smoke & Spice Co.) vegetable oil
50g tamarind pulp
200ml water
50g gula melaka (or dark brown sugar)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 large red chilli, sliced (remove seeds to reduce heat)
1/2 of one lime
1/4 cup coriander leaves
1/4 cup mint leaves
1/2 stalk of spring onion, sliced thinly on the diagonal edible flowers


Prepare the prawns by trimming the whiskers, removing the shell, leaving the heads and tail intact. Butterfly the prawn by running a knife down the back of the prawn, de-vein and place in a bowl. Marinate with white pepper and smoked salt, toss well and set aside.

To prepare the tamarind puree, soak the pulp in warm water until it softens, then use a sieve and squeeze out as much puree as possible.

Fill a small pot or wok with 2-3 cups oil, enough to cover the prawns. Place over medium high heat. When the oil is very hot, gently lower each prawn into the hot oil and fry for a couple of minutes until the prawns are just cooked through. Remove and drain on some kitchen towel.

Remove all but 2 tbsp of oil from the wok and heat over high heat. Add the garlic and chillies and fry until lightly golden. Add the gula melaka and tamarind and cook until smooth and thick (about 1-2 minutes), taste and adjust accordingly, then return the prawns to the wok, squeeze a little lime and toss until well coated.

To plate, toss the herbs together in a bowl with a squeeze of lime juice and transfer onto a serving plate. Place the prawns over the herbs, and decorate with the slithered spring onion and edible flowers. Serve immediately with steamed rice.

Credits: Recipe is courtesy of Audra Morrice and Singapore Tourism Board to celebrate the launch of Singapore Celebrity Concierge.