Stir-fried king prawns
I know a lot of people who are squeamish at the sight of ‘head’ in a seafood dish – prawns, fish, lobster. It’s such a shame if children grow up not knowing how a whole prawn actually looks like, or can’t tell the difference between cod and sea bass because they are served up as fillets.
Whilst I’m no seafood expert, I do know that cooking prawns with their shell and head intact will add depth to the tasty, almost buttery flavour of the prawns and liquid they’re cooked in. The stock of the famous Penang prawn noodle soup in Malaysia (one of my favourite hawker food fare), for example, is made with prawn shells and heads.
The recipe below is for a simple stir-fried prawns dish. I take great satisfaction in peeling away the prawn heads and sucking on the delicate juices within, then moving on to peeling away the rest of the shell from the body before dipping it in the slightly sweet sauce, savouring the soft yet firm texture as I bite into the succulent flesh. Oh my…
What you’ll need
- 2 tbsp oil for frying
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 inch of ginger, finely chopped
- 12 large king prawns, with shell and head intact, cleaned
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp light soy sauce
- a handful of coriander
- 1/2 stalk of spring onion, sliced thinly
To cook your prawns
1. Heat the oil in a large wok, add the garlic and ginger then stir-fry until the garlic is lightly browned.
2. Add the king prawns and sugar. Fry for about 5 minutes or until the shells turn pink.
3. Add the sesame oil and light soy sauce to the prawns. Garnish with the coriander and spring onion, season with salt if required and serve immediately.
Yields 4 servings as part of a Chinese meal