tonight last night! Woohoo!! Was there anyone who watched the Logies instead? No prizes for guessing what we did today yesterday at 7.30pm! (It will be a great relief to be away from the Royal Wedding news that PLAGUE all forms of media at the moment…the dress looked SO good by the way, but was funny that the bridesmaid’s dress outshone the bride just a tad bit :P), but enough about television. In the spirit of Masterchef, we thought we would share a dish that we tried from Adam Liaw’s “Two Asian Kitchens” – Butter prawns!
I think it’s supposed to be “Lai Yao Har” (奶油虾) in Cantonese and this is one of my FAVOURITE dishes back in Malaysia – it’s basically fried prawns stirred in with egg, curry leaves and chillies that have been fried till crisp. So you have some idea of how excited I got when I saw this recipe in his book! We just had to try it!
This made up 1 of the dishes that was part of our feast that night – besides the butter prawns, we also made steamed egg (a quintessentially Cantonese dish I think), vegetables and leftover fried wontons. The recipe has not been changed except for personal preferences (chillies etc) – and I think you pretty much have to cook and taste as you go.
500g raw prawns
3 egg yolks, beaten
45g dessicated coconut
100g unsalted butter
1 handful curry leaves
5 chilles, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp light soya sauce
1/2 tsp Shaoxing wine
Ground white pepper
2 tsp castor sugar
First things first , you have to clean the prawns! We cut off the legs and feelers of the prawns…
Then, using a wok – fill it halfway up with oil and let the oil heat up. You know when it’s ready if you place a wooden chopstick into the oil and it starts bubbling against the chopstick. Then fry the prawns in batches until it’s crispy – about 2-3 minutes. When they’re ready, place them onto a plate lined with paper towel to absorb the additional oil.
You can then take the oil out but leave some in there for the butter sauce. Then taking a sieve, pour the beaten egg yolks through the sieve into the wok…
Then, whisk it as it cooks on the wok until it becomes strands or little clumps (this was a 2 man job it seems – I was pouring the egg onto the sieve and Sammy was busy whisking away). Take it out onto a separate plate when it’s ready.
Then, clean the wok and dry fry the dessicated coconut until coloured, then take it out.
Melt the butter in the wok and fry the curry leaves until crispy, then add in the chillies and garlic and fry until fragrant. I think we used less chillies than the one in the cookbook, so this would be preferential and depending on how spicy the chillies are! Then add everything else inside (prawns, coconut, egg, soya sauce, Shaoxing wine, salt and sugar) and toss it a few times until it is well combined.
The best way to eat prawns? Peel them with your hands – peel of its head (suck it a little to get the flavour – but please don’t do this if you have gout! :P), then peel off the shells on its body, suck the flavour out of it as you go and then eat the flesh…if its crispy enough, you can even eat everything together!
Anyway, while we were doing this, Sammy also made:
Steamed Egg with Pork Mince (蒸水蛋)
Dried Chinese Mushrooms
Soak the dried chinese mushrooms in hot water. When it’s soft, drain the hot water and dice the mushrooms into small pieces.
Then, fry the pork mince in the wok with a dash of Shaoxing wine and salt, and stir fry until the mince is cooked.
Then, put it into a steamer with equal parts of egg and water (1 cup egg to 1 cup water etc) and then steam until it’s firm. An easy dish to make especially when you need it to make up 3 dishes in a chinese meal.
On top of that, we also made wontons out of the leftovers from the Dumpling Night, and also a token vegetable dish – so suffice to say, we were stuffed that night!! The king of the dishes was the butter prawns, they were DEElicious! Too bad we don’t have enough ‘wok hei’ (people back home, especially in the restaurants will cook from a charcoal stove, that had sufficient heat and added the smoky, charcoal-y flavour to the food that can’t be replicated with gas stoves unfortunately!). But for a dish that was cooked at home, it was a great dish – took a bit more effort though and our house ended up smelling like fried prawns for ages!! All worth it!