Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Chinese Chilli Prawns

In the Eighties, I was a regular visitor at Ho-Pei Chinese Restaurant in Kodialbail Mangalore which was run by David Cow and his elders. David later started Hao Hao in Balmatta and Ho-Pei became Ting Hao under the management of Hotel Sujatha owners. Ho-Pei served one of the best Chilli Prawns those days. Spicy and suitable for our taste buds, we used to order slices of bread to go with that!

A relative of mine who was a close friend of David learned to cook a few popular Chinese dishes. He also made Chinese Chilli Prawns and explained me how he prepared it. However, he didn't pass on the recipe to me!

I later tried preparing that at home in the Nineties with my own measures and modifications and succeeded. Surprisingly, similar preparation was also found at Mangalore Club in the Nineties. Typical Chinese Chilli prawns come with a coating of refined flour and corn starch but I like them without coating. Try this and you will simply love this.

Prawns - 500Gms shelled and de-viened
Salt and Pepper
Ginger Garlic paste - 2 Tsp
Dark Soy Sauce - 3-4 Tsp
Diluted White Vinegar - 2-3 Tsp
Corn starch - 2 Tbsp
Green Chillies - 8-10 French cut or slit lengthwise
Capsicum - 1 small, cubed(Optional)
Onions - 2 Diced
Sugar - 1 Tsp
Chicken or vegetable stock - 1/2 Cup
Refined Oil - 2 Tbsp
Onion Shoot - 2 stalks chopped

Wash and pat dry the prawns.
Marinate the prawns with salt and pepper, 1 Tsp soy sauce, 1 Tsp vinegar and 1 Tsp Ginger Garlic paste for 2 hours.
Mix corn starch with 1/2 cup of water to make corn starch paste.
Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a wok.
Stir fry the green chillies and capsicum adding little salt, till they turn whitish and onions till they are crisp and transparent. Keep aside.
Add more oil. Stir fry the marinated prawns till they turn slightly golden. Do not over cook the prawns.
Add the remaining soy sauce, sugar and pepper according to taste and stir fry.
When the soy sauce starts to stick to the wok, add the stock followed by corn starch paste and mix.
When the sauce thickens, add the fried chillies and onions, stir fry and add remaining vinegar.
Finally garnish with onion shoot and serve with fried rice, noodles or with bread.

Note: If you want this dish with gravy, add more stock.

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