Udang Masak Lemak Nenas, Prawn and Pineapple Coconut Curry

Udang Masak Lemak Nenas is an old favourite family recipe. It’s a pretty easy recipe to cook up, and you can use any size prawns (shrimp you like).

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Udang Masak Lemak Nenas
Udang Masak Lemak Nenas

What’s in a Name?

In Malay:

  • Udang = Prawns (Shrimp)
  • Masak = To Cook  or Cooked
  • Lemak = Cream but in culinary terms, this refers to Coconut Milk
  • Nenas = Pineapple

Udang Masak Lemak Recipe

So, this Udang Masak Lemak Nenas, is a light curry of prawns and pineapple in coconut milk. When you come across a dish in Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei and to some extent, Indonesia, with the word lemak, it generally means that there’s coconut milk involved.

What is the origin of today’s curry? It’s a Nyonya curry. The Nyonyas are a unique culture found in Singapore and Malaysia that combines the best of Chinese and Malay. You can read more about them on my new blog: Singaporean and Malaysian Recipes.

There are in fact two variations of this dish, one with coconut milk and one without. Naturally, the one without coconut milk, won’t have the word lemak in it. But that’s a recipe for another day!

I much prefer the coconut milk version  but choose to use only a little coconut milk, half of the usual big can, resulting in a lighter curry, the way my granny used to make it. If you fancy it creamier, you can always add the rest of the coconut milk in.

The larger the prawns (shrimp), the better, for this dish I think. To peel or not to peel? One’s easier on the eye, the other, easier to eat! You could compromise by leaving the tail ends, that’s what I usually do with prawns. Keeping the shells on adds depth to your curry as it is what we use to make prawn or seafood stock.

Herbs to Use

What herbs to use in this udang masak lemak nenas? If you have access to them, Kaffir lime leaves, Vietnamese Coriander/Mint or even Thai Sweet Basil would be wonderful. But if you don’t, then the good old coriander leaves (cilantro) will do perfectly, added right at the end, as a garnish, before serving.

Plain rice is the perfect accompaniment to this but you could also turn it into a bowl of curry noodles by tossing in some noodles right at the end. Or blanch your noodles, place them in a bowl, and ladle the curry all over.

Udang Masak Lemak Nenas, Prawn Curry
I love to leave the shells on as they add flavour to the curry, like using prawn stock


Vegetarians – tofu would be so great in this, as will green beans, courgettes, okra, aubergines (eggplants) and boiled eggs. My granny would always toss boiled eggs to leftover curry the next day, to make it go further.

Chicken and other seafood would be amazing in this curry too.

A Few Specialist Ingredients

There are a few specialist ingredients in this recipe, if you can’t get them, leave them  and you will still get a delicious curry:

Shrimp Paste – shrimp paste is made from fermented ground shrimp, sun dried and either sold as a soft paste. Click to read more.

Galangal – a rhizome that has a citrus like aroma, but unlike ginger, it is sweet, not spicy. Click to read more.

Lemongrass – an edible grass, lemongrass is a herb used very widely in Asian cuisine. Click to read more.

Incidentally, the paste ingredients would make a great marinade for anything.

Shall we get our aprons on?

If you like the recipe, don’t forget to leave me a comment and that all important, 5-star rating! Thank you!

And if you make the recipe, share it on any platform and tag me @azlinbloor, and hashtag it #linsfood

Lin xx

Udang Masak Lemak Nenas, Prawn Curry

Udang Masak Lemak Nenas

Udang Masak Lemak Nenas is a light curry of prawns and pineapple in coconut milk.
5 from 17 votes
Print Pin Add to Collection
Course: Curries
Cuisine: Nyonya (Singapore and Malaysian)
Keyword: seafood
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 400kcal
Author: Azlin Bloor


  • 500 g prawns (shrimps)
  • ½ small pineapple cut into little triangles
  • 200 ml coconut milk medium strength
  • 1 Tbsp tamarind soaked and squeezed for juice (click for more)
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 125 ml water
  • fresh lime leaves or coriander leaves cilantro

Grind to a paste

  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 10 dried red chillies soaked in hot water for 20 minutes
  • 1 Tbsp shrimp paste
  • 3 candlenuts or macadamia nuts or cashew nuts
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ inch galangal
  • 2 stalks lemongrass


  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan on medium heat and sauté the ground ingredients until fragrant, for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add prawns and coat thoroughly, then add the pineapples and do the same.
  • Add the coconut milk and bring to a gentle boil on low heat (coconut milk will curdle over high heat).
  • Add the tamarind, lime juice, salt and sugar and cook for 5 minutes until prawns are done.
  • If you’d like more gravy, add some water (about 125ml/half a cup) or the equivalent amount of coconut milk for a slightly creamier curry.
  • Add the leaves that you’re using a minute or so before the end of cooking time, turn off heat and serve with plain boiled rice. If using coriander leaves, chop and scatter after turning the heat off.


Serving: 4 | Calories: 400kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 358mg | Sodium: 1699mg | Potassium: 478mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 397IU | Vitamin C: 66mg | Calcium: 238mg | Iron: 6mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @azlinbloor and tag #linsfood!
Made it? Upload your photosMention @azlinbloor and tag #linsfood!

Share this with someone who'll love it!

8 thoughts on “Udang Masak Lemak Nenas, Prawn and Pineapple Coconut Curry”

  1. Amanda Richards

    This looks so wonderful, I love a good curry and I love the varieties of curries found on your bog – not just the Indian ones we see everywhere. Going to make this over the weekend, thank you!

  2. I LOVE curries with pineapple in them! There’s just something about that burst of sweetness that offsets the heat and spice that really brings it to another level.

    Also, what is a candlenut and what can I substitute it with?

    Lastly, I admire your taste in spatulas. I’ve been coveting a similar one for some time but have no justification whatsoever for buying it because I already own two silicone spatulas 🙂

  3. This curry looks and sounds amazing! My mother makes something similar to this but without the galangal. Curries with pineapple and coconut milk are just so smooth, comforting and delicious!
    Love your recipes!

  4. this sounds so amazingly delicious – i adore pineapple curries with all my heart. i’m inspired to track down all the ingredients – it really sounds wonderful Lin!

  5. Sedap ni, the udang masak lemak! This is one of my favourite Nyonya dish at home. Yup, I do share the same view to have bigger prawns for the dish 🙂

  6. So interesting and mouthwatering dish Lin…I love the pineapple and the coconut milk in this dish…so flavorful!
    Have a great week 🙂

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating