Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Seared Prawns & Stir-fried vegetables

I am quite ashamed to admit there was a long period in my life when I didn’t eat prawns.  As a kid, I used to enjoy the king prawns my dad brought home from Hexham – we’d all sit at the kitchen bench peeling them then scoffing them on the spot, not bothering to ruin their delicious flavour with anything so silly as sauce!
But one day, when I was at home sick, and both Mum and Dad had the day off, I was treated to lunch at a local Chinese Restaurant.  Not having complex tastes at that stage, I naturally ordered fried rice.  I was happily chomping away until I encountered something hard and crunchy which just didn’t belong in that dish!  Like a good kid would, I immediately spat the offending item back onto my plate, much to my parent’s horror.  It was none other than an unshelled prawn!  

Thus began my prawn abstinence – I think it went on for close to 20 years!  That is, until the proliferation of Asian restaurants across Australia.  The best item on their menus was anything that included prawns.  I MADE myself get over my aversion just so I could enjoy chilli garlic prawns, honeyed king prawns and the best of all, Tom Yum.  I still haven’t regained the knack of peeling prawns – thank God the local fish shop does that for me!

1 dozen king prawns, peeled and de-veined (leave tails on if you like!)
1 tblsp olive oil or olive oil spray
1 handful snow peas
½ brown onion, sliced into wedges
1 carrot, cut into sticks
6 green beans, cut into thirds
1 handful fresh bean shoots
½ bunch fresh coriander, chopped
1 tblsp sweet chilli sauce
juice of one fresh lime
1. Heat a fry pan on stovetop and coat with olive oil.
2. Place prawns on one side in pan and allow to cook until they become white (about 90 seconds!).  Turn and cook on other side.  Prawns should be nicely browned.  Remove from pan and set aside.
3. Heat a wok on stovetop and spray with olive oil spray.  Combine snow peas, onion, carrot and beans in wok.  Stir-fry for two minutes, adding one or two tablespoons of water to assist cooking process.
4. Add bean shoots, coriander and prawns to wok, stirring to combine.  Pour chilli sauce and lime juice over stir-fry and heat through until all ingredients are combined.
5.  Serve immediately on a bed of rice, over steamed glass noodles or on its own for a low carb option.  Serves two.

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