These prawns, which are prepared in Chinese style, make a delicious canapé. Choose large plump prawns and leave the tails on for attractive presentation and ease of eating. Marinate the prawns overnight in the refrigerator if you want to prepare ahead.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 12 raw large prawns (shrimp)
- 1 tablespoon plain (all-purpose) flour
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 3 coriander (cilantro) roots, finely chopped
- 1 cm (½ in) piece of ginger, roughly sliced
- 1½ tablespoons oyster sauce or, for a hotter flavour, ½ teaspoon red curry paste
- a sprinkle of ground white pepper
- 12 frozen spring roll sheets or filo sheets, 12 cm (5 in) square, defrosted
- peanut oil, for deep-frying
- a chilli sauce, or plum sauce, to serve
- Peel and devein the prawns, leaving the tails intact. To make the prawns easier to wrap, you can make three or four shallow incisions in the underside of each, then open up the cuts to straighten out the prawns.
- Mix the flour and 3 tablespoons water in a small saucepan until smooth. Stir and cook over medium heat for 1–2 minutes, or until thick.
- Using a pestle and mortar or small blender, pound or blend the garlic, coriander and ginger together.
- In a bowl, combine the garlic paste with the prawns, oyster sauce, pepper and a pinch of salt. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours, turning occasionally.
- Place a spring roll or filo sheet on the work surface and keep the remaining sheets in the plastic bag to prevent them drying out. Fold the sheet in half, remove a prawn from the marinade and place it on the sheet with its tail sticking out of the top. Fold up the bottom and then fold in the sides to tightly enclose the prawn. Seal the joins with the flour paste. Repeat with the rest of the prawns and wrappers.
- Heat the oil in a wok or deep frying pan over medium heat. When the oil seems hot, drop a small piece of spring roll sheet into it. If it sizzles immediately, the oil is ready. Deep-fry four prawns at a time for 3–4 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Keep the prawns warm while deep-frying the rest.
- Transfer to a serving plate. Serve hot with chilli sauce or plum sauce.