It’s one of those days that I had prawns sitting in the freezer but not sure what to do with them. I have always love seafood and prawns are no exception. I wanted some fresh idea of how I could cook this prawns. As I was flipping through the index of the Martha Stewart Living Cookbook (lazy and quick way of screening through 1,200 recipes haha!).
The reason why I resorted to that cookbook because I knew I would find something interesting and I did. Many of her recipes hasn’t disappointed thus far. FIRECRACKER PRAWNS! aha!! I had all the ingredients and so I got busy cooking.
This dish is really good. I love the incorporation of fish sauce, bell pepper, peppercorns, chilis, sugar, shallots, cilantro, etc. I know some people don’t like eating prawns with shells on, but this one is really nice because there’s some shallots underneath the shells, so before you peel off that skin, you can suck, lick or whatever you want and you can taste how flavorful the prawns are.
The dish is really a firecracker of color and taste.
FIRECRACKER PRAWNS (8 servings)
4 large shallots
1 pound (about 24) large shrimp- I use Tiger prawns
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp Asian fish sauce
1/2 red or yellow bell pepper, seeds, and ribs removed, thinly sliced
2 scallions, white and light-green parts, sliced diagonally 1/2 inch wide
1 fresh serrano chili pepper or 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed, thinly sliced (I put more because I like mine hot)
1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
1/2 tsp whole white peppercorns
3 sprigs fresh cilantro, for garnish
1. Thinly slice 2 of the shallots; set aside. Finely chop the remaining 2 shallots. Using kitchen shears, cut through the shrimp shells along the back. Leaving the shells on, use a small sharp knife to devein the shrimp
2. Carefully lift one side of the shrimp shells; tuck about 1/2 tsp chopped shallot onto the shrimp. Gently press the shells back in place
3. Combine the cornstarch, paprika, salt and pepper. Add the shrimp, and toss to coat
4. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, and cook just until opaque, about 2 minutes on each side. Scatter the garlic and reserved sliced shallots over the shrimp, and cook, shaking the pan often, about 1 minute. Add the sugar, fish sauce, 3 Tbsp water, bell pepper, scallions, serrano pepper, and black and white peppercorns. Toss to combine. Cook, shaking the pan often, 1 minute. Serve immediately, garnished with the cilantro