When I was little I feared the red pen from my Mother. As some Chinese children will know, your youth is not spent playing outside, it is instead spent doing comprehensions and reading texts and we'd have to a bit of a play outside but sports were not a focus at all (and they wonder why I can't catch a ball to save my life). After each comprehension, Mother's red pen would come out and she'd ruthlessly correct it. She meant well I'm sure, and she was a teacher after all, but I got to hate that red pen.
However with all of those red pen corrections and comprehensions life was not bad. After all, there was also very good food to be had at home. One dish that I loved growing up with Singapore chilli prawns or crab. Her version has an amazingly delectable sauce that we often make more of just so we can spoon some extra on the plain rice and eat by itself long after all the prized seafood is eaten. This is one of those dishes that is very quick to cook once everything is cut up so if you prepare everything in the morning, it takes about 10 minutes to cook when you get home from work.
I used some fantastic green Crystal Bay Prawns. Nothing gets me more excited than fresh food deliveries and when I was offered some Crystal Bay Prawns by my darling friend The Second Wife, a hungry seafood monster emerged. I am a shameless hussy as far as good seafood is concerned and I knew that Crystal Bay prawns were well regarded as they often feature on top restaurant menus - you know the ones where they mention the provenance of the items.
My mum showed me how to make it but I had to ask her to slow down for my photos as I walked away distracted (I was mesmerised watching Martha Stewart on TV making cookies) and realised that the whole dish was almost cooked. My mum's recipes are generally quite short and to the point and not like my flowery ones but this one is short in text because it is short in the frypan. Just one hint my lovelies and that is be sure to have plenty of rice ready to mop up the extra gravy.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you like spicy food? And how hot can you take it?
Singapore Chilli Prawns
750 grams prawns, peeled and butterflied (sliced down the back)
2 large red chillis finely sliced (you can use a little bird's eye chilli if you like it very hot)
Thumb sized piece of ginger (diced)
2-3 cloves garlic (smashed)
2 teaspoons of oil
Spring onions to garnish (optional)
280mls/10 ozs water
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons tomato sauce
3/4 tablespoon chilli sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3/4 tablespoon white vinegar
In another bowl mix 1 1/2 tablespoons cornflour with 2-3 tablespoons plain water
1 egg, beaten and stirred in at the last step
Step 1 - Heat wok or frypan on medium to high heat and add 2 teaspoons of oil. Fry prawns for 1 minute. Scoop out.
Step 2 - Fry garlic, ginger, red chilli, then add in fried prawn. Next add in the sauce ingredients and simmer for 1 minute. Add in the cornflour mixture to thicken the gravy.
Step 3 - Lastly, add in a beaten egg, stir the gravy while adding in the egg. Sprinkle chopped spring onion on top if using.