How To Cook Easy Malaysian Prawn & Pineapple Curry (Restaurant Recipe)

This recipe for Malaysian Prawn and Pineapple curry is adapted from the Fish Curry I used to sell as part of my range of frozen meals at markets around Sydney and at my restaurant, and it was very popular in particular among those who like their curry mild, rich, and gluten-free (I used a particular gluten-free mushroom seasoning in it in lieu of the chicken powder that’s ubiquitous in a lot of my other dishes).

It’s easy to whip up, especially if you’re happy to use shortcuts like canned pineapple, but I’d definitely advise using “fresh” prawns (ie. ones that are raw and with shells on) as opposed to what we Chinese call “restaurant prawns”, which are the ones that are peeled and have been treated so they’re bouncy but have lost most of their flavour. But that’s just me.

What really lifts the game with this and with a lot of Malaysian recipes is the type of coconut milk or coconut cream you use. A lot of overseas Malaysians who try to recreate their favourite Malaysian recipes complain that they lack that fragrant coconut flavour that’s a signature of great childhood culinary memories – and that’s because in Malaysia we used to buy freshly-grated coconut at the wet market and extract coconut milk from it ourselves.

A few years back, I had an interesting discussion about fresh coconut milk with a transplanted South Indian food blogger here in Sydney, who was on a similar quest to find freshly-grated coconut so she could make her own curries taste like what she missed from home. When she finally got her hands on some (if you’re in Sydney, you’ll know there’s at least one place where you can buy it these days), she ended up being a little underwhelmed by the result. Somehow we came to the (probably hypothetical; I can’t remember) conclusion that the fresh coconut you can get here in Sydney nowadays must be a different strain to what’s found in Southeast Asia, hence why it lacks that distinct fragrant aroma we both craved.

A much better solution is to use canned Malaysian coconut milk, which, thankfully, we can get our hands on easily here in Sydney. Coconut milk brands are not created equal, unlike some products where the “home brand” isn’t discernibly different except in price tag. The ones I used for this Malaysian Ingredients Made Easy series are as close a match as you’re likely to find, to using home-extracted fresh coconut milk from Malaysian coconuts, plus they contain no preservatives or additives.

Other types of seafood would work well with this recipe; if using fish fillets, I’d cut them into chunks, drench in tapioca starch or cornstarch, and fry them up (ie. deep-fry), then make the sauce separately and pour over the fish before serving.

Here’s the replay of my broadcast on Malaysian Prawn And Pineapple Curry from my Malaysian Ingredients Made Easy >>

Here’s the highlights video which includes other ways to use Malaysian Coconut Milk >>

If you’d like to get your hands on ALL the recipes in the video above and also in the rest of my Malaysian Ingredients Made Easy series, go ahead and sign up at 


Recipe For Easy Malaysian Prawn & Pineapple Curry


8 large prawns, peeled & deveined, heads intact

½ cup pineapple chunks


Sauce –

1 tsp chilli crush

1 tsp minced lemongrass

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ onion, minced

½ tsp turmeric powder

4 kaffir lime leaves – thinly shredded

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp mushroom stock granules or chicken powder (optional)

1 tsp salt

½ tsp belacan (shrimp paste), optional

250 mL Malaysian coconut milk


2 TBSP oil


  1. Combine sauce ingredients except coconut milk and mix into a paste. Fry with oil until it separates. 
  2. Add prawns and saute for 10 seconds, add pineapple and coconut milk.
  3. Simmer on low heat until prawns are cooked through, adding some water if you prefer a thinner sauce. 
  4. Adjust seasoning, remove from heat and serve.


Additional Recipe Suggestions:

By the way, I reached out to my Jackie M and Masters of Malaysian Cuisine email subscribers for creative suggestions on how to use Malaysian Coconut Milk; here are what they came back with:

By Nur Diyanah Magness (

By Mankay –

  • Whipped coconut cream for crepes

By PS Ling 

  • As a dairy substitute in canned Chicken & Mushroom Soup

By Michael Cheong – 

  • Coconut Dalgona
  • Coconut Panna Cotta
  • Light Coconut Milk Steamboat Broth
  • Seafood Carbonara Pasta

By Fauzia Khuhro –

  •  Coconut and China grass pudding 
  • Jaggery and Sago pearl drink
  • Pumpkin soup

By Elizabeth Rayney – 

  • Rich Durian Pulp Ice Cream


Share and Enjoy !