Thursday, 24 January 2013

Prawns, prawns, Asian prawns

King prawns are cheap here. And I mean way cheap.  The size that back home sets me back a good 40 euros a kilo just went down to less than 7 euros at our local supermercado (their fish counter kicks ass!)

So, every time I pop in I end up walking away with, like, a kilo and a half of those big boys. You know, "just in case". And by big I mean big. The taste is just so much better and the texture so much meatier that I don't even consider the scrawny caterpillars available in Finland fit for human consumption. 

I buy mine whole and uncooked. The process of shelling and preparing them from the scratch just fills me with such meditative merriness ("Zen and the art of veining"- coming to W.H.Smith near you...). And we don't like to waste anything, so especially if I'm making a bigger batch, I make quick seafood stock from the shells. One of its many uses is a slightly pimped version of the classic English fish pie that the Gentleman loves (more on this in the blogs to follow!).

And prawns, like fish in general, is true fast food. It's quick, good, light, easy and all that jazz.

And since we always have a couple of kilos of those fishy fellas lurking in the freezer, I'm always on the lookout for new ways to make the most of them. Last time the inspiration came from somewhere in the Pan-Asian region. The result was coconut prawns with mango-chilli dip. And man, it was good. The amount of chilli has been toned down a bit for the recipe below- I dare to assume purple is not Gentleman's natural skin colour...

The dip was originally developed as a a sauce to cook chicken in (this too, soon to follow), but it was so good I just had to have some more of it.

serves 4 (or 1 greedy girl such as me...)

24 king prawns, peeled and shelled
2 egg whites
3 dl coconut flakes


1 generous tsp grated ginger
1 generous tsp chopped garlic
1 generous tsp chopped chillis
grated zest and juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 generous tsp tomato paste
3/4 dl chicken stock
1 mango, pureed
appr. half a can of coconut milk
a dash of soy sauce
a handful of chopped spring onions
a handful of chopped coriander leaves

Oil for frying

Lightly whisk the egg whites, but not to a point of foaming. Dip the prawns in the mixture and then thoroughly coat them in coconut flakes. This can be done in advance- just keep the prawns in the fridge until ready to fry.

In the meanwhile make the sauce:

Heat some oil in the pan. Add garlic, chilli and ginger. Let them sweat a bit and add curry powder, then zest and juice of a lime and the spring onions. Next add the tomato pure, soy, chicken stock and the mango puree. Let the ingredient boil together for a bit and add the coconut milk. Cook for about 10 minutes. Even if the consistency seems a bit runny, it will set as it cools. Once the consistency is ok, check the taste and remove from the heat. Add the chopped coriander. Let it cool and serve with the fried prawns. 

Heat appr. 1 litre of oil in a pan. Once it's hot, fry the prawns in batches of 4-5 prawns for a few minutes until they get a bit of colour. Lift from the oil with slotted spoon and drain on kitchen towel.

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