PRAWNS are ideal for quick meals as they are easy to whip up on busy days. They pair well with the classic sweet and sour sauce in Chinese cuisine that tastes just as good with prawns as it does with pork. Make a double portion and store it in the fridge for another meal when the craving for sweet and sour sneaks up on you.
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 5 persons
10 prawns, washed, trimmed and patted dry
1 teaspoon salt
3-4 dashes of white pepper
150g tapioca flour for coating
150ml oil for deep frying
6 fresh chillies, seeded and sliced
2 inches ginger, peeled and julienned
6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
4 tablespoons tomato sauce
2 tablespoons chilli sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons white vinegar
30g gula melaka (palm sugar)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
D: Cornstarch Solution
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
salt and sugar to taste
1. In a medium mixing bowl, marinate prawns with salt and pepper.
2. Sprinkle with tapioca flour and rub it in to ensure prawns are well coated. Set it aside for 20 minutes to allow marinade to permeate prawns.
3. Heat up oil in a wok or saucepan until it becomes smoky. To test if oil is hot, stick the end of 1 chopstick into the oil; when it sizzles, it is ready for frying.
4. Gently lower prawns into oil, taking caution that oil might splatter. Deep fry prawns until shells turn pink and lightly crisp. Drain them in an oil sieve before transferring to a plate lined with paper towels.
Meanwile, combine sauce ingredients
5. Heat up 3 tablespoons oil in the saucepan. Add aromatics and sauté until fragrant, then pour in C ingredients. Allow the sauce to simmer until it begins to thicken. Pour in beaten eggs. Next, add in cornstarch solution and stir until it is well combined. Adjust taste of sauce according to personal preference. Toss in prawns.
6. Mix until prawns are well coated with sauce. Serve immediately with steamed rice.
BUYING TIP: To check for freshness of the crustaceans, ensure that prawn heads are firmly attached to their bodies. They should feel firm with a glossy appearance. Take a sniff — fresh prawns should hint of seawater with no foul odours.
TECHNIQUE: Marinating prawns with salt and pepper before cooking enhances its seafood flavours.
Photos: Yeoh Lay See