The “al fresco” restaurants of Malaysia serve these chili prawns right from the blazing wok. This is one of Malaysia’s most popular dishes, filled with layers of flavor, using ingredients from the cupboards of Chinese, Indian, and Malay cultures. It’s best to use a wok for this recipe since the hot wok will create a marvelous caramelized crust on the surface of the prawns. The sauce in which the prawns are cooked includes ginger, garlic, curry leaves, tomato ketchup, a small amount of fresh chilies, and is thickened with eggs and sesame seeds at the end to give body to the dish.
Chili prawns are traditionally served with Chinese-style steamed buns, but a French baguette is a fantastic substitute. In my home, we cannot resist dipping into the sauce, making a delicious mess. I also can make this interchangeably with crabs, since the key is the delightfully complex, creamy chili sauce.