Monday, May 26, 2008

Ebi No Chiri Sosu (Chili Sauce Prawns)

I requested this dish for my birthday dinner, as Monsieur H cooked for me. It is a Japanese recipe that is now adapted by many chinese restaurants.
It contains several ingredients that you can find at Asian markets.
The recipe might seem a bit complex, but it's totally worth it!

Serves 2
- 12 big prawns
- salt (1/2 teasp + 1/2 teasp)
- starch (1 tablesp + 1/2 teasp + 2-2.5 tablesp)
- 1 tablesp water
- 2 tablesp sake
- 1/4 egg white
- vegetable oil
- 150ml chinese broth
- 2 tablesp ketchup
- 1/2 tablesp hot miso paste (tohbanjan)
- 1 tablesp sugar
- 1 tablesp chinese liquor (shohkohshu)
- pepper
- 2.5 tablesp finely chopped spring onion (half and half)
- 1 clove garlic, mashed
- 2 teasp grated ginger
- 1/2 tablespoon vinegar

Peel and de-vein the prawns and put them in a bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and mix with your hand as if gently massaging, until it becomes gluey (make sure your hands are clean).
Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon starch and 1 tablespoon water, and mix again in the same way.
Rinse the prawns under cold water. Any bad smell should be gone by now.

Pat the prawns dry with kitchen paper, and put them in a bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, 2 tablespoons sake, and mix with your hand until the prawns have absorbed the liquid.
Add 1/4 of an egg white and mix until it gets bubbly.
Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon starch, mix and leave it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Bring the prawns back to room temperature.
Heat up a fair amount of oil in a wok pan (enough to deep fry the prawns). If you can monitor the temperature of the oil, heat it up to 120 degrees celsius, and add prawns one by one. Fry them until they are red and start rolling up. This should take only a couple of minutes.

Remove the prawns from the pan and discard the oil. If the pan is dirty, wash it, and add another 2 tablespoons of oil.
Add tohbanjan over low heat, and when sizzling, add ketchup. When it gets bubbly add garlic, ginger, half of the spring onion, and wok everything.
Pour the broth evenly from the side of the wok pan. Turn up the heat, add sugar, salt, pepper, chinese liquor.
When boiling, add back the prawns. After this step you have to be quick otherwise they will become hard and overcooked.
It will settle and start boiling again. At that point you can add the other half of the spring onion, and 2-2.5 tablespoons of starch diluted in an equal amount of water.
When the sauce is binded, add 1 tablespoon oil, and when it appears at the surface turn off the heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon vinegar and it is ready to be served, with rice and vegetables of your choice.

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