This is the second in my mini series dedicated to showing some really easy and extremely tasty Chinese inspired dishes. But, before we get into that, I have a bit of a problem. A few years ago, one of the media statisticians in our business was presented with a list of numbers and a simple question; Which is the odd one out?
Being a bit of a boffin (no relation) he got to thinking about the problem. He opened a spreadsheet and got to work…
He ran the numbers every which way and could not come up with the answer. He paced his office in the evening trying different permutations and combinations. “Is it 28? That’s 4 by 9 minus the second number, 4… No, damn it! That doesn’t make sense.” “Is it 44 because it’s the 8th number. That’s 4 and 4. No, that can’t be it either. Damn, damn, damn…” So it went far into the night. Do you fancy giving it a go while I prepare my take on Salt and Pepper Prawns?
Whenever we have a prawn dish, I also have a problem with the maths. How many prawns each? I see some recipes recommending 4 per person, others 10. I tend to go for 6 and then throw a few extra in “for the pot”. This assumes a decent size of prawn. Anything smaller and we have to up the numbers.
For my ingredients list:
- 16 good-sized prawns (feeding two)
- 3 spring onions
- 1 chili pepper or two
- An inch of ginger
- 3 cloves of garlic (or one single clove bulb)
- A twist or two (or a big pinch or two of salt
- 1 heaped teaspoon of Szechuan pepper
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of rice wine
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 heaped teaspoon of cornstarch (corn flour) dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water
- 1 handful of coriander (cilantro)
Chop the spring onions.
Chop the ginger.
Chop the garlic didn’t make the cut (pardon the pun) so we go straight to: Chop the chili.
Side note of frustration: Is there a clue in there being three of four potential vegetable chopping pictures? Perhaps…
Mix the corn flour with the salt and Szechuan pepper. There is a lot of twisting to get that much of the pepper ground. Twisting like the mathematicians amongst you.
Pour the soy into a ‘photographer’s bowl (one with the front cut away).
Add the honey.
Toss the raw prawns in the flour/pepper/salt mixture.
Get your wok good and hot. Add some oil and fry the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds. Add the chili and stir until the flavours start to rise. Add the prawns. Stir these while adding the rice wine, taking photographs and chopping the coriander.
Stir for a minute and add the soy and honey mixture.
Add the coriander and turn off the heat. Whatever you do, don’t over-cook the prawns.
Serve the prawns over rice. Top with the sauce and a coriander leaf or two.
That’s about it. Simple, tasty Oriental cooking. Look out for part three in the series, coming soon.
Oh, I nearly forgot. The answer to the conundrum above. The number is 31.
The rest come with fried rice and a free portion of prawn crackers…