Monday, March 31, 2014

Kaffir Lime Dried Prawn Sambal / Hei Bee Hiam Served with Enriched White Loaf

Like I said in my previous lemongrass prawn sambal / hei bee hiam post, I have to emphasise again that my husband and I love love love eating hee bee hiam...

Prawn sambal? Hei bee hiam??? What is that? For those who like to know more, please see my previous post.

This is another interesting version of dried prawn sambal / hei bee hiam that I have cooked. The addition of kaffir lime leaves has made this hei bee hiam extra fragrant and very special. My husband likes this version much more than the lemongrass one, saying that the lemongrass one is too fibrous for him to chew... or maybe his jaw muscle is growing a little bit old... LOL!

This is kaffir lime dried prawn sambal recipe originates from the book, Tea Time Delights: The Best of Singapore Recipes by Mrs Leong Yee Soo. Mrs Leong is also the same author that wrote the lemongrass hei bee hiam recipe that I have cooked previously but this version is quite different from the lemongrass one. This kaffir lime one contains no candlenut, belacan, tumeric and green chillies and the original recipe is kind of confusing and complicated using two different chilli pastes. No offense but I guess the nyonya ladies in the past like to make chilli pastes and like to make many versions of chilli pastes... LOL! Making chillies paste is definitely not my hobby... and so I have adapted this recipe into a simpler one and it works perfectly well for me. Hurray!!!

To enjoy this hei bee hiam to the fullest, I have baked a nice enriched white loaf to eat with it. This straightforward loaf is very light, soft, simple and amazingly good when I baked it at my first attempt but unfortunately this time, I might have slightly over-baked slightly. Nevertheless, the combination of this nostalgic indulgence is still heavenly good.

kaffir lime dried prawn sambal hei bee hiam
Kaffir Lime Dried Prawn Sambal / Hei Bee Hiam Served with Enriched White Loaf
This is the first time that I baked this bread...
enriched white loaf
Very soft and beautiful...
... and so, I baked it again and a bigger loaf this time.
I baked it for extra 5 mins but might have over-baked it :p Nevertheless, it is still good to eat.
To make kaffir lime hei bee hiam, we need to harvest some kaffir lime leaves first from our garden.
Finely ground dried prawns... Smell fishy but I promise you that it tastes really good when it is cooked.
A simplified chilli paste that I made
A little spicy smell here... cough cough!
The tamarind that I used.... My boy laughed seeing this version of tambourine!
Add kaffir lime. Fry a while...
kaffir lime dried prawn sambal hei bee hiam
... and this hei bee hiam is ready to eat!

Here are the recipes:

Kaffir Lime Chili Prawn Sambal mostly adapted from the book, Tea Time Delights: The Best of Singapore Recipes by Leong Yee Soo 
(with my notes in blue)

Makes 4-5 cups, loosely packed


For the chilli paste:
1 large red onion
1 garlic clove
20 dried chillies
3 large fresh chillies or 2 large fresh chillies plus 5 small extra-hot chillies
20ml coconut milk 

2 tbsp cooking oil (original was 4 tbsp)
chilli paste
55ml thick coconut milk
(I used Ayam regular coconut milk)
2 tbsp tamarind puree
3 tbsp sugar
200g dried prawns, very finely ground
20 kaffir lime leaves 
(daun limau purui), sliced very finely

Heat cooking oil in a saucepan and fry chilli paste until fragrant. Stir in coconut milk over moderate heat and cook for 1 min. Add tamarind puree, sugar and dried prawns and stir over low heat until mixture is fragrant and almost dry. Add the lime leaves and cook it slightly until the leaves are slight wilted. Transfer to a tray to cool. Serve with plain rice or bread whenever you like.

Tip: Hei Bee Hiam can be kept for months if stored in a refrigerator.

Enriched White Loaf from the book, Bread Machine Easy by Sara Lewis
(with my modification in blue)

1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp butter, at room temperature
200ml milk (replace with same volume of water plus 20g milk powder)
1 tsp salt
475g strong white flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp fast action dried yeast

Life the bread pan out of the bread machine and fit the kneader blade. Add the whole egg, egg yolk, butter, milk and salt. Spoon in the flour, make a slight dip in the center and add the sugar and yeast.

Insert the pan into the bread machine. Shut the lid and set to a 750g (1 1/2 lb) loaf on a basic white setting with preferred crust setting. Press start.

3. At the end of the programme, life the pan out of the machine using oven gloves. Loosen the bread with a plastic spatula, turn it out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.

Using 2/3 of the recipe, I've made this bread with a 10 cm x 20 cm loaf pan for my first bake. The ingredients were added into a bread machine as according to step 1 and "dough" setting was used to mix and prove the bread dough. After its first prove, I shaped it into a loaf for a second proving of 1 hr in a loaf pan. The loaf was brushed with milk and was baked at 170°C fan forced for 25 mins.

Subsequently, I've made this loaf again using the full amount of the recipe and a 11 cm x 21 cm loaf pan. The loaf was brushed with milk before baking and was baked at 170°C fan forced for 30 mins but I reckon baking it at 25 mins might be enough.

Happy Baking and Cooking
Please support me and like me at Facebook...


  1. Is kaffir lime = "kali yip" (direct translation: curry leaves)? The one we use to cook butter chicken and the 3 must-haves: Curry leaves, butter and evaporated milk ? If yes, then I don't mind finishing the entire bowl of your hei bee hiam.. I love the fragrant smell from the leaves.. But I must eat with other "things" in the bread, like mayonaise or cheese, hehehe, call me weirdo..

    1. Zoe, excuse me for being "kay poh".

      Louiz, kaffir lime leaves = daun limau purut. Totally different from curry leaves.

    2. Hi Phong Hong,

      Thanks for replying Louiz for me! I'm a bit in replying... Now worries.

      Hi Louiz, kaffir lime is not curry leaves lah! Very different taste and frangant :p


  2. Whoa...what lovely bread and spread! I would go for extra helpings ^.^

  3. Zoe, after seeing your dried prawn sambal, I feel like making some! I have quite a bit if dried prawns in my fridge which I bought for making kerabu. I shall put them to good use!

  4. Zoe, Zoe, Zoe,
    I love your hei bee hiam!!! I always did what you do. Spread them on bread toast, yum! Send some over please.. lol

    I have Mrs Leong Yee Soo's cookbook too. Must try this too.

  5. Kaffir lime leaves is not curry leaves. It is called in Cantonese " Fatt Foong Kum" meaning leaves from a rough and bumpy lime fruit.

    Your kaffir lime is fruiting, It is very difficult to get this kind of Kaffir plant. Mine died when somebody put too much urea.

    I shall try your recipe for the bread and hiam sambal. Looks delicious.


    1. Hi Cindi,

      I hope that I have not confused anyone here... Yes that kaffir lime leaves is NOT curry leaves. Yes that princess ribbon is confused :p Will tell her soon.

      My kaffir lime plant is fruiting with many limes now and I love this plant very much. Sorry to hear that yours has died.

      Please try this recipe. If you are a hei bee hiam lover, I will love this.


  6. Zoe, I've brought a can of petai here, can we also have sambal petai too, haha!

  7. Omg, those sambal is just irresistible,my mouth is watering here.

  8. I finally saw just one kaffir lime leaf at a Thai restaurant this weekend. Amazing how plants that grow commonly one place can be so exotic to those of us far from you. But the world is getting smaller, at least for bloggers who share.

  9. This looks fantastic! It looks almost exactly what my mom used to make, except for she would add really hard, sour mangoes to it.

  10. Perfectly baked white bread and drooling over ur sambal spread ...........

  11. Hi Zoe , love all the ingredients and this is a must make , thanks for sharing :)

  12. My kaffir plant doesn't have fruit! Looking at this recipe, I know my hubby will love it.

  13. Hi Zoe,
    Your sambal hei bee looks very sedap! Eating sambal with bread is definitely very Asian way of enjoying it! Love eating sambal with bread! And homemade bread makes it all the better!
    Your kaffir lime plant is "prettier" than mine. My plant is now "botak", almost all the leaves are eaten by the butterflies' larvaes!

  14. Gosh, you made me salivate badly. Now, I am madly in love with those sambal. Wish I can have some now.:o)

  15. The hae bee hiam on that soft fluffy loaf makes my mouth water!