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Chef Tina’s Sambal Drunken Spot Prawns

This recipe from the late, great Chef Tina Fineza is one of my spot prawn staples. I have made it many times, and will do so again this year, fondly remembering Tina who cheffed at Lumière, Diva at the Met, Bin 942, and the Flying Tiger. She also left her special chef fingerprints on beloved local standouts: Les Faux Bourgeois, La Mezcaleria, and La Taqueria.

DJ's Wine Pairings

Chill a bottle of crisp and energetic white wine (just like Tina!), or a dry B.C. Rosé for this easy, spicy preparation.

The Wine Club pairing:

Sambal Drunken Spot Prawns


18 B.C. spot prawns, deveined, tails on, heads optional
2 tbsp garlic, chopped
2 tbsp shallots, chopped
3 tbsp sambal oelek
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup Shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine, but you could use pale dry sherry or dry white wine)
1 tbsp canola/extra virgin olive oil blend
  cilantro, chopped


  1. Add the oil to a sauté pan on medium to high heat. Add the garlic and shallots and sauté for 5 minutes, then add the Shaoxing wine to deglaze the pan.
  2. Continue cooking for 1½ minutes, then add the sambal oelek and sugar and cook for another 30 seconds, before adding the prawns. The prawns will require no more than 1-1½ minutes to cook, during which time the butter should be added to emulsify the sauce. 
  3. Once the prawns are cooked, remove them from the pan and reduce the remaining liquid down by half, pouring the sticky remains over the prawns on the serving dish. Garnish with the cilantro and serve immediately.

Serves 6.

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