Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Continuing on the Quest of Easy Dinners: Spicy Prawns

I got a text yesterday from a certain little blonde student telling me how she was wrapped up in bed wearing 5 layers, scarf, hat and gloves trying to learn a presentation. As I reclined on my sofa in shorts and a t-shirt in my well heated non student house, I thought about how I did not miss those days at all. She asked me what was coming up next on the blog, so this little post is for her.

This dish has been a staple in our family house for ages and it is one of Dads specialities. It's also the perfect student dish as its crammed full of ginger to help fight those pesky bugs you all pick up and it's filled with chilli. I don't I need to explain the heating effects of chilli.

I use prawns, however, my adventurous little foodie of a brother doesn't eat anything that comes from the sea, so chicken works just as well. Chicken also works well with a student budget before you roll your eyes at me and asked me who eats prawns as a student. (I'm telling you right now I did).

Any who, on to the recipe, this ones a cheeky little number for 2 (just double it up if your feeding more mouths)...

You will need:

(Im starting to realise I'm looking like an ad for Sainsbury's. Other supermarkets are available.) 

2 Lemongrass stalks
2 Garlic cloves
2cm worth of fresh ginger
1 Onion
1 green or red chilli
200ml of chicken stock
1 tbsp of fish sauce
1/2 tbsp of sugar (preferably brown but whatever you have to hand)
1 packet of big prawns

Some veg, once again I had Pak Choi as I love it but cabbage is usually what we plump for.

Sainsbury's are doing a great deal on king prawns at the moment which is why mine are ready cooked but raw prawns are great and frozen prawns are often super cheap and still taste a ok, so grab a bag of them if you so wish.

Start by flattening your lemongrass with a back of the knife, this helps to release all of it's delightful aromas, then chop it up finely.

Peel your ginger, remember to use a teaspoon like I told you, ginger is expensive, you don't want to waste a bit of it! Chop that finely too.

Guess what, peel and chop that garlic finely too.

Now throw all of these in a bowl with your sugar, a tiny pinch of salt (don't go nuts on this as fish sauce is pretty salty anyway) and some black pepper. 

Now add your fish sauce to this delightful little mix. Remember to check what type of opening your bottle has otherwise you may end up throwing it everywhere, that definitely did not happen to me... mmmmm stinky fish.

Now pop your prawns into this and leave to marinade for as long as you can stand. I had an episode of the Vampire Diaries to catch up on and a glass of wine to keep me distracted so I left it for 40 mins. 

When your episode is up, head back to the kitchen to stick on your rice and pop on the kettle for your stock.

Dice your onions and chilli.

Now I'm not sure if everyone knows this trick about onions so I'm going to let you in on a couple of secrets. The reason everyone balls out their eyes when they chop up one of these bad boys is because often, the knife is not as sharp as it could be. This means that the onion cells are often squashed rather than being cut cleanly and this makes you cry like a baby. So people, keep those knives sharp and it will save your mascara. If you do cry, run your finger tips under the cold tap, for some reason I find this stops the tears or helps, don't ask me why.
The second little tip is for helping a good, even dice. Chop you onion in half through the root so that each side is left with the root. Then slice length ways down the onion but not going all the way to the bottom. This way you can cut across the onion whilst the root keeps is all together for you. Voila, takes half the time and your onion chunks are all the same size!

Now put a wok on and start to gently fry your beautifully chopped onion and chilli. When you feel these are soft enough, pour in the stock. 

Bring this to a slow simmer. Now, because my prawns are cooked I put my veg in first but if you were cooking from raw then put the prawns in now, with all the juicy marinade. 

Once these have cooked down a little throw in the prawns and give it a good mix. 

As soon as these are warm your rice should be done and you are good to go. 

Super simple, quick, tasty and warming. 

What more could you want eh Lara? 

I hope you are less cold after you've made this and I'm sorry it doesn't contain soy but you are not really allowed to eat that and I feel my brother and lots of other people might be sad if you died. Take it from me this is a good alternative.  

1 comment:

  1. Oh fake sister friend you have quite exceeded yourself here... all my fav ingredients ( of course without the soy but i agree, i really am living in denial...bring on the anaphylactic shock!) I will make this delish meal tomorrow and report back but substituting Vamp Diaries with Homeland . Much love, your Lazzy xxx