Dried Prawns (Udang Kering)
Dried prawns (the Malay word for it is "udang kering") is easy to get anywhere in Malaysia. It used to be cheaper than fresh prawns since the seafood could be dried to have longer shelf-life. Nowadays, the price of this delicacy is such a dear.
The processes involved to make them are quite similar for making ikan bilis but there is of course an extra step involved if the prawns or shrimps were de-shelled during processing. This extra step also makes them more expensive.
They can be used as a base for soup, extra garnish in stir-fries, in sambal, also to be made into belachan. The quality of udang kering depends on the type of shrimps used and also their sizes. The bigger prawns make better dried udang kering.
Before cooking the prawns, we have to soak them in hot water for about 10 minutes to make them soft. Otherwise, even when cooked, the prawns would be hard to bite.
If you want to make sambal hei bee, the prawns need to be grounded finely using a food processor or pounded using traditional pestel and mortar. Hard dried prawns would not be able to be processed finely.
Here is a simple sambal udang kering that I make at home. I make it in large quantities simply because it is so handy to have in my fridge. Since it can keep for two weeks, I use it for my sandwiches and nasi lemak. Whenever I make noodle soup and need an extra oomph! to it, a good dollop of this sambal on my noodle soup would definitely spice it up nicely.
Sambal Hei Bee (Sambal udang kering)Ingredients:
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