Thursday, 31 July 2014

Fragrant Thai Prawns with Sweet Chilli Sauce (with Thermomix method)

Quite simply *the* most succulent, delicious prawns - an absolute favourite here, and well worth treating yourself to some nice juicy big prawns for!

This is a fantastic way to cook prawns, and so good that the quantities given would suffice for a main course, if you served it with rice or noodles and a side dish, although it's presented here as a (generous!) starter (the photo shows a double portion for sharing).

The light egg and cornflour coating locks in the moisture - like the chinese technique of 'velveting' used with chicken to give moist and tender results - together with giving the prawns a really zesty and fragrant fresh flavour with the marinade ingredients, and the heat is in the dip.

Serves two (easily doubled) - 199 calories per serving for the prawns, and 60 calories per portion for my Sweet Chilli Sauce (see here for recipe, includes Thermomix instructions)

OK, just in case you're wondering why the link to the chilli sauce shows a bright red chilli sauce, and the sauce in the photo above is somewhat darker, I'm 'fessing up now! The photo actually makes it look far darker than it was, but essentially this was during the (ahem) development stage of the chilli sauce, and I took my eye off it for literally two minutes, during which time it went from sauce to jam. Don't get me wrong, it was quickly 're-hydrated' and still tasted absolutely fantastic, but it had lost the fresh red colour which you see in the perfected version in the link. So, if like me, you have the attention span of a goldfish, and turn around to see your chilli sauce a darker, spluttering beast - do not despair, it will still be delicious! (You might just need to add a bit of water to it!)

  • 200g large raw tiger prawns, de-veined and shells removed* (you could easily get away with 150g for a starter, we just LOVE prawns! This worked out as seven each - you could throw in a few more if you want it for a main course) [140]
  • Zest of one lime [1]
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime (about 1/2 a 15ml tbsp) [2]
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled [6]
  • 1/2 inch of ginger, peeled [2]
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric [3]
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten [17]
  • Salt
  • 25g cornflour [90]
  • 2 tbsp oil (e.g. coconut, sunflower, vegetable, or something suitable for frying in) [135 - one tbsp remains in the pan after cooking]
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander to garnish [1]

  • Half a quantity of Sweet Chilli Sauce (the rest will keep in the fridge for a while) - see here for recipe, you will need half a chilli, half a red bell pepper, 50g sugar, 50ml rice wine vinegar and a teaspoon of light or tamari soy sauce. Or you could buy a sweet chilli sauce (e.g. Blue Dragon) which is 69 calories for 2 tbsp, and serve that in a dipping bowl instead.

(See below for Thermomix Method to make the marinade)

1. Finely grate the lime zest and ginger, and crush the garlic.
2. Mix the lime, lime zest, garlic, ginger, tumeric and egg white in a bowl together, and then add the prawns to it, and stir until evenly coated.
3. Leave to marinate for half an hour (meanwhile you could make the chilli sauce, and any side dishes you fancied having with it, if appropriate). Continued below the Thermomix Method...

(Thermomix Method. If desired, chop the coriander in the Thermomix first, by dropping onto running blades, Speed 6, and then scraping out and setting aside. Don't worry if some remains in the bowl. Thinly peel the zest from the lime with a vegetable peeler. Cut the ginger into 'coins'. Turn the TM up to Speed 8, and drop the zest, garlic and ginger onto the running blades. Scrape down, and add the lime juice, turmeric and egg white. Give a quick whizz at Speed 4, for a few seconds to mix, then scrape into a bowl with the prawns, give a good stir and leave to marinade for around half an hour. In the meantime, you could wash the bowl out, and make the sweet chilli sauce, instructions here, and then continue with the method below).

4. When ready to cook, drain off any excess liquid from the bowl the prawns are in, season them to taste with salt and start heating a large, non-stick, good quality pan (I use a wok). Sprinkle the cornflour over the seasoned prawns and mix together (this can be a bit messy and sticky!).

5. Add the oil to the wok, swirl around until hot (if you're not sure you can tell it's hot when the oil becomes really runny, and if you drip a couple of drops of water in and they sizzle immediately - watch out for it spitting!) and then add the prawns, making sure they're not stuck to each other (you may need to push a few apart once you've added them.

6. Toss them as they cook, until they've turned pink and opaque and are cooked through to your liking - this will only take a few minutes. Remove from the pan with a large slotted spoon, drain on kitchen towel, and serve immediately with the sweet chilli dip (and something to wipe your fingers on!). Enjoy!

*If possible, leave the bottom joint of the tail on, to hold when eating. Frozen tiger prawns are perfect for this, just twist the heads off, take off the shell down to the last joint, and de-vein (the most important part!). See here if you're not sure how to do this.I find that a 600g bag of whole, raw, frozen tiger prawns gives me around 360g of raw, shelled prawns if you want an idea of before and after weights. Keep the heads and shells to make stock or bisque with.

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