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Deliciously Simple Salt and Pepper Prawns Chinese Recipe

Salt and pepper prawns are a well-loved Chinese dish that can be effortlessly recreated in your own kitchen. This versatile dish can be enjoyed as either a tasty appetizer or a satisfying main course, and pairs perfectly with a side of rice or noodles. To make this dish, fresh prawns are marinated in a blend of salt, black pepper, and Chinese five-spice powder before being coated in corn starch and fried to a crispy, golden perfection.

A sizzling wok tosses plump prawns, coated in a savory blend of salt and pepper, releasing a fragrant aroma. Green scallions and red chili peppers add a pop of color to the dish

Essential Ingredients: To make salt and pepper prawns, you will need fresh prawns, salt, black pepper, Chinese five-spice powder, corn starch, and oil for frying. You can also add other seasonings such as garlic, ginger, and chilli flakes to enhance the flavour of the dish. Seafood lovers can also use other types of seafood such as squid or scallops to make this dish.

Preparation Techniques: To prepare the prawns, you need to clean and devein them before marinating them in the seasoning mixture. The corn starch is used to coat the prawns and give them a crispy texture. The oil should be heated to high heat before frying the prawns for 2-3 minutes until they are crispy golden brown.

Key Takeaways

  • Salt and pepper prawns is a popular Chinese dish that can be easily made at home.
  • The essential ingredients for this dish include fresh prawns, salt, black pepper, Chinese five-spice powder, corn starch, and oil for frying.
  • Other types of seafood such as squid or scallops can be used to make this dish.

Essential Ingredients

A sizzling wok holds sizzling prawns, seasoned with salt and pepper. Aromatic steam rises, as the prawns turn golden and crispy

When it comes to making salt and pepper prawns, the ingredients you choose can make all the difference. Here are the essential ingredients you'll need to make this delicious Chinese dish.

Selecting the Best Prawns

The star of the show in this recipe is, of course, the prawns. When selecting prawns, it's important to choose the freshest ones you can find. Look for prawns that are firm and shiny with a slightly translucent shell. If you can, choose prawns that are still in their shells as they will have more flavour.

It's also important to choose the right size prawns for this recipe. Large prawns work best as they are easier to handle and have more meat. If you're feeling adventurous, you can also use other types of seafood such as squid or tofu.

Seasoning Mix

The seasoning mix is what gives salt and pepper prawns their signature flavour. The mix is made up of salt, pepper, and other spices such as Sichuan peppercorn. You'll also need flour or cornstarch to coat the prawns before frying.

To make the seasoning mix, start by dry roasting the peppercorns in a pan until they are fragrant. Grind them into a fine powder using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Combine the ground peppercorns with sea salt, white pepper, and cornstarch or potato starch.

You can also add other ingredients to the seasoning mix such as garlic, ginger, and spring onions for extra flavour. When frying the prawns, be sure to use a neutral oil such as vegetable or peanut oil to avoid overpowering the delicate flavours of the prawns.

Overall, the key to making delicious salt and pepper prawns is to use fresh, high-quality ingredients and to season them well. With a little bit of practice, you'll be able to make this classic Chinese dish with ease.

Preparation Techniques

Prawns being seasoned with salt and pepper, then tossed in a wok over high heat. The prawns sizzle and turn pink as they cook

Marinating the Prawns

Marinating the prawns is an essential step in making salt and pepper prawns. It helps to infuse the prawns with flavour and makes them tender. To marinate the prawns, you will need to mix together some salt, pepper, Chinese five-spice powder, and a little bit of fish sauce or light soya sauce. You can also add other seasonings such as garlic, ginger, and chilli flakes to the marinade for extra flavour.

Once you have prepared the marinade, add the prawns to it and mix well. Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. You can also marinate the prawns overnight for a more intense flavour.

Creating the Perfect Batter

The batter is what gives salt and pepper prawns their signature crispy texture. To make the batter, you will need to mix together flour, corn starch, salt, and pepper. Some recipes also call for the addition of egg and water to create a smoother batter.

When making the batter, it is important to get the consistency right. If the batter is too thick, it will not coat the prawns evenly. If it is too thin, it will not form a crispy coating. To test the consistency of the batter, dip a prawn into it and see if it forms a smooth, even coating.

You can also experiment with different types of starches to create a unique texture. For example, you can use potato starch instead of corn starch for a lighter, crispier coating.

Seafood such as squid or scallops can also be used in place of prawns. Squid is a great option as it has a similar texture to prawns and can be marinated and coated in the same way.

Cooking Method

Prawns seasoned with salt and pepper, sizzling in a hot wok, surrounded by chopped garlic, ginger, and green onions

Frying to Perfection

To achieve the perfect crispy texture for your salt and pepper prawns, you need to fry them to perfection. Start by heating your cooking oil in a wok or deep frying pan. Once the oil is hot, add the prawns in batches. Avoid overcrowding the pan as this will cause the temperature of the oil to drop, resulting in soggy prawns. Fry the prawns for 2-3 minutes or until they turn golden brown.

Once the prawns are cooked, remove them from the oil using a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel to drain any excess oil. This will help to keep the prawns crispy and prevent them from becoming greasy.

Managing Cooking Temperature

Maintaining the right cooking temperature is essential to achieving crispy and golden salt and pepper prawns. When deep-frying, it's important to keep the temperature of the oil between 350-375°F (175-190°C). This will ensure that the prawns cook evenly and turn golden brown.

If you're stir-frying the prawns, make sure the wok is hot before adding the oil. The oil should be heated until it starts to smoke before adding the prawns. This will help to sear the prawns quickly and prevent them from becoming overcooked and rubbery.

Proposed Seafood: You can also use other types of seafood such as squid or scallops for this recipe. Make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly as the cooking time may vary depending on the type of seafood you use.

Serving and Presentation

Golden-brown prawns in a sizzling wok, garnished with finely chopped green onions and red chili flakes, served on a bed of crispy lettuce leaves

Plating Suggestions

When it comes to serving salt and pepper prawns, you have a few options. Firstly, you could serve them as a main dish, accompanied by steamed rice and perhaps some stir-fried vegetables. Alternatively, they make a delicious appetizer or starter, perfect for sharing with friends or family.

To plate salt and pepper prawns as a main dish, you could arrange them in the centre of a large plate, surrounded by steamed rice and stir-fried vegetables. Alternatively, you could serve them in individual bowls, again accompanied by steamed rice and vegetables.

If you're serving salt and pepper prawns as an appetizer or starter, you could arrange them on a platter, garnished with some chopped scallions and perhaps a wedge of lemon or lime.

Garnishes and Accompaniments

Salt and pepper prawns are delicious on their own, but they can be elevated with the addition of some garnishes and accompaniments. A simple garnish of chopped scallions can add a pop of colour and freshness to the dish. You could also consider serving them with a dipping sauce, such as sweet chilli sauce or soy sauce.

Seafood lovers may want to try using different types of seafood in this recipe, such as squid or even scallops. The key is to ensure that the seafood is fresh and cooked to perfection to achieve the best results.

Overall, salt and pepper prawns are a versatile and delicious dish that can be served in a variety of ways. Whether you choose to serve them as a main dish or an appetizer, they are sure to be a hit with your guests.

Nutritional Information

A plate of sizzling salt and pepper prawns, garnished with fresh green onions and red chili peppers, accompanied by a side of steamed white rice

If you're watching your diet, you'll be pleased to know that salt and pepper prawns can be a healthy option. Prawns are a great source of protein, and they're low in fat and calories. They're also a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12, phosphorus, and selenium.

Seafood is a great option for a healthy diet, and prawns are no exception. They're low in fat and calories but high in protein, making them a great option for those looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy diet. If you're looking to add more seafood to your diet, prawns are a great option.

In terms of specific nutritional information, a serving of salt and pepper prawns typically contains around 150-200 calories, depending on the size of the serving. They're also a good source of protein, with around 15-20 grams per serving. They're low in carbohydrates, with only a few grams per serving, and they're also low in fat, with around 5 grams per serving.

It's worth noting that salt and pepper prawns can be high in sodium, so if you're watching your salt intake, it's important to be mindful of how much you consume. However, prawns are also a good source of potassium, which can help to counteract the effects of sodium.

Overall, if you're looking for a healthy and tasty option for dinner, salt and pepper prawns are a great choice. They're easy to make, packed with flavour, and provide a good dose of protein and other essential nutrients.

Frequently Asked Questions

A sizzling wok with golden-brown prawns coated in a savory salt and pepper seasoning, surrounded by aromatic Chinese spices and fresh herbs

What's the best way to achieve a crispy coating on my prawns?

To achieve a crispy coating on your prawns, make sure to pat them dry with paper towels before coating them in cornflour. Deep-fry the prawns in hot oil until golden brown and crispy. You can also try using a mixture of cornflour and breadcrumbs for an extra crunchy texture.

Could you suggest any sides that pair well with this dish?

This dish is best served with steamed rice and stir-fried vegetables like bok choy or Chinese broccoli. You can also serve it with a side of hot and sour soup or egg drop soup for a complete Chinese meal.

What's the secret to a perfectly balanced salt and pepper seasoning?

The key to a perfectly balanced salt and pepper seasoning is to use equal parts of salt and ground Sichuan peppercorns. You can also add a pinch of Chinese five-spice powder and garlic powder for extra flavour. Make sure to taste the seasoning before using it to adjust the seasoning to your liking.

How should one properly reheat this dish to maintain its texture?

To reheat this dish, place it in a preheated oven at 180°C for 5-10 minutes or until heated through. Avoid microwaving the dish as it can make the prawns soggy.

Can you share some insights into the origins of this dish?

Salt and pepper prawns is a popular Chinese dish that originated in Cantonese cuisine. It is commonly served as an appetizer or snack in Chinese restaurants and takeaways in the UK. The dish features crispy deep-fried prawns coated in a mixture of cornflour and Chinese salt and pepper seasoning.

What are some tips for making a healthier version of this takeaway classic?

To make a healthier version of this dish, you can try using a healthier cooking method like baking or air-frying instead of deep-frying. You can also use a mixture of whole wheat flour and cornflour for the coating and add more vegetables like bell peppers and onions to the dish. Additionally, you can use seafood like squid or scallops instead of prawns for a healthier twist.