I have absolutely no idea about Burmese cuisine or Myanmar cuisine, as it is known today. So today’s dish, Burmese style Prawns with Tomatoes is a borrowed one from Chef Luke Nguyen, a celebrity chef I admire a lot, both for his recipes and his travel cooking shows.
I watch a lot of travelogues especially if it revolves around food. A couple of my top favourites are Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, Chef Luke Nguyen and Chef Peter Kuruvita, Food Safari, Spice Route etc….For me, a good cooking show is one where the presenter has a real respect and fascination for the culture, lifestyle and food of the region.
I hate shows where the presenter or host walks around eating anything and everything going ‘mmmmmm delicious’. I mean, seriously….
So while watching one of Chef Nguyen’s shows, I came across this recipe for Burmese style Prawns with Tomatoes. Now I have no idea if this dish is traditional or has he put his own twist on it (he says it’s a traditional one). But what I know for sure is that it is damn delicious!
It’s a basic one, a handful of everyday ingredients that works magic in a wok. The cuisine of Myanmar is slightly on the fiery side with big and bold flavours. So if you are not a fan of chilli, just reduce it a bit. Make sure you get shallots; it would taste way better than with regular onions. And also pound the aromatics in a mortar and pestle if you have one; little things that make a lot of difference to the overall taste.
Though Chef Nguyen used king prawns for his version of Burmese style prawns with tomatoes, I used the regular prawns; much more affordable. But if you are in the mood to splurge or want a bit of drama, get the king prawns and cook with the head and tail bit intact.
Do remember to tag me #thespiceadventuress on social media if you have tried out this delicious Burmese style prawns with tomatoes so that I can see it too. I have a dedicated category to seafood on my blog, so do check out for more such delicious recipes.
Burmese style Prawns with Tomatoes
- 600 gms prawns; deshelled and deveined
- 6 large shallots if small, use 8-10
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3/4 th inch ginger
- 5 dried chillies soaked in hot water for 15 minutes
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp chilli paste
- 2 large ripe red tomatoes
- Salt to season
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 3 sprigs coriander leaves; finely chopped
- Marinate the prawns with ½ tsp turmeric powder, salt and fish sauce. Keep aside for 15 minutes.
- Pound the shallots, garlic, ginger and softened dried chillies in a mortar and pestle to a coarse paste. Do use the grinder if you must but strongly recommend the mortar and pestle.
- Heat oil in a pan and add the coarse paste. Sauté on low to medium heat till all the water is absorbed and the oil starts to clear around the edges.
- Add the chilli paste and turmeric powder; continue to sauté on low heat.
- Once the onion mixture has caramelized well, add the tomatoes.
- Add 1/4th cup water and cook for about 10 minutes or till the tomatoes are softened.
- Then add the prawns and cook on high till done.
- Finally, garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve warm.