‘Making do’ just might be my mantra. Well certainly of late anyway because I’m trying to gradually re-stock my store cupboard with all those essentials that most of you take of granted. Flitting between Cities means that both kitchens are severely lacking in many of the staples needed to make a good meal great. I’m getting there slowly but surely but in the meantime i’ll ‘make do’:)
Hands up who likes a prawn. They really are fab, aren’t they? I mean, there are few people I’ve met who won’t eat them – even self proclaimed veggies will pop a prawn now and again. The same could be said for fried food. So combine those two things and you’re onto a serious winner. If you want to enhance this even further then you rock out the Panko breadcrumbs; Japanese style breadcrumbs that perfectly coat any food and fry to crunchy perfection. Seriously, once you try these amazingly versatile breadcrumbs you’ll never look back! Normally I would flour, egg and coat in panko but my store cupboard being the way it is at the moment I was missing flour. So I ‘made do’ and just egged and breaded. Admittedly I was concerned the crumbs wouldn’t adhere properly but I needn’t have worried, it was totally fine, although the texture was a little different but certainly not in a bad way.
The ‘making do’ didn’t stop there. I only had two thirds of the holy trinity of chinese cooking; i.e. I had no ginger, so my heavenly duo of garlic and chilli would have to do. Of course the mirin, soy sauce and sesame oil helped the flavour and all in all the stir-fry was not too shabby. Simple, fresh and clean tasting, it did the job rightly. After all, those prawns are the star of the show!
Oh yes! I am entirely unapologetic for the gratuitous use of packet ramen noodles. What, the same kind that comes with that God awful msg clad flavouring? The very same. I just toss the flavouring – or rather put it in my cupboard where there is now an unhealthy stash of the stuff. So wrong:)!
Panko Breaded Prawns:
20 medium cooked prawns
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
Thai Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce
1/2 green pepper
1 large carrot
6 spring onions
3 garlic cloves
1/2 tablespoon chilli flakes
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 pckts ramen noodles
Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees fahrenheit or a fairly low temp. Line a dish with kitchen roll.
Crack the egg into a bowl, whisk, add a tablespoon of water and season. Empty panko onto a large plate. Heat canola oil in a small frying pan – enough to shallow fry, you don’t want the prawns completely immersed when cooking. A medium to low heat works best otherwise the oil will spit and that’s never nice for anyone.
This part is like a little conveyer belt of breaded prawn production:) I do five at a time but work pretty quickly. Dunk the prawns into the egg, thoroughly coat before transferring to panko. I like to bury them in the panko. Ensure they are completely covered before transferring them to the oil. Repeat until all the prawns are frying. You want them golden on one side before turning. Once they’ve fried themselves silly transfer to the lined dish and put in oven to keep warm.
Finely slice the veg into lengths. I’m a firm believer that how you chop your food should be appropriate to the cuisine you are trying to recreate. So for asian cooking, angles and long strips are the way to go. Heat a tablespoon of canola oil in a wok or frying pan (I’ve yet to purchase a wok – shocking I know!). Add carrot and pepper and fry quickly for a few minutes. Mince garlic and along with chilli add to pan. Keep the veg moving and try not to let it colour too much. At this stage add the mirin, sesame oil and 1 tbsp of soy sauce.
Bring a medium pan of water to a boil. Break up noodles and boil for several minutes – they don’t take very long to cook. Drain and keep to one side.
Add spring onion to the pan. Stir for a minute or two. Toss in the noodles and using tongs ensure the veg is thoroughly combined. At this stage you can add the other tbsp soy sauce and more sesame oil if you wish.
Serve with a generous helping of Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce for those prawns!