Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Steam Prawns: Authentic Chinese Recipe – Seaco Online
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Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Steam Prawns: Authentic Chinese Recipe

If you want to learn the traditional way of cooking prawns in Chinese cuisine, steaming is the way to go. This cooking method is known for being healthy and flavourful, making it a popular choice for serving as a main dish or appetizer during special occasions like Chinese New Year and reunion dinners. This Cantonese-style dish is straightforward to prepare and can be personalised to suit your taste preferences.

 

Fresh prawns sizzling in a steamer basket over boiling water, surrounded by aromatics like ginger and garlic, as steam rises and infuses the seafood

To make the perfect steamed prawns, you will need to select the best quality prawns available. Look for fresh, firm prawns that have a bright, translucent shell. It is also important to properly prepare the prawns by deveining and cleaning them before steaming. Once the prawns are ready, they can be seasoned with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and other flavour enhancers to create a delicious and healthy meal.

Key Takeaways:

  • Steamed prawns are a popular Cantonese-style dish that is easy to prepare and customize to suit your taste preferences.
  • To make the perfect steamed prawns, select the best quality prawns available and properly prepare them before steaming.
  • Season the prawns with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and other flavour enhancers to create a delicious and healthy meal.

Selecting the Best Prawns

Prawns arranged in a steaming basket, surrounded by ginger, garlic, and scallions. Steam rising from the pot, creating a tantalizing aroma

When it comes to steaming prawns, selecting fresh and high-quality prawns is essential to ensure that the dish turns out delicious. Here are some tips on how to choose the best prawns for your recipe.

Freshness Signs

The first thing to look for when buying prawns is their freshness. Here are some signs to look out for:

  • Smell: Fresh prawns should have a mild, sweet smell. If they have a strong ammonia-like smell, it's a sign that they are not fresh.
  • Texture: The flesh of fresh prawns should be firm and slightly translucent. If they are slimy or mushy, they are not fresh.
  • Colour: Fresh prawns should have a bright, translucent colour. If they are dull or discoloured, they are not fresh.

Prawn Varieties

There are different varieties of prawns available in the market, but the most commonly used in Chinese cuisine are tiger prawns. They are large, meaty, and have a sweet flavour that complements the garlic seasoning used in the steaming recipe.

If you cannot find fresh tiger prawns at your local seafood market, you can also use other types of seafood such as scallops or mussels. They will add a unique flavour to the dish and make it more interesting.

When buying prawns, it's best to visit an Asian grocery store as they usually have a wider variety of fresh seafood available. Make sure to choose the freshest prawns available to ensure that your steamed prawns turn out delicious.

Preparation Essentials

A pot of boiling water with prawns floating inside, surrounded by ginger, garlic, and green onions. Steam rising from the pot

Before you start steaming your prawns, there are a few essential steps you need to follow to ensure that your dish is delicious and flavourful. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Cleaning and Deveining

The first step in preparing your prawns is to clean and devein them. Use kitchen scissors to cut off the whiskers and legs. Then, use a sharp knife to make a shallow cut down the back of each prawn and remove the vein. Rinse the prawns under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels.

Marinating Prawns

To add some flavour to your prawns, you can marinate them before steaming. In a small bowl, mix together some minced garlic, salt, and your choice of seafood like scallops or crab. Rub the mixture all over the prawns, including the head and shell. Let the prawns marinate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight in the refrigerator for a more intense flavour.

When you are ready to steam your prawns, you can use your favourite recipe or try one of the many Chinese-style recipes available online. Just be sure to follow the recipe carefully and adjust the cooking time according to the size of your prawns. With these preparation essentials, you will be able to create a delicious and flavourful dish that is sure to impress your guests.

Steaming Techniques

Prawns being steamed in a bamboo steamer over boiling water, with aromatic ingredients like ginger and scallions scattered around

When it comes to cooking prawns, steaming is one of the most popular and healthy ways to do it. Steaming is a gentle cooking method that preserves the natural sweetness and tenderness of the prawns while enhancing their flavour with minimal seasoning.

Using a Bamboo Steamer

A bamboo steamer is a traditional Chinese cooking tool that is perfect for steaming prawns. It is made of woven bamboo and consists of several layers that allow you to steam multiple dishes at once. Here's how to steam prawns using a bamboo steamer:

  1. Soak the bamboo steamer in water for at least 30 minutes before using it to prevent the prawns from sticking to the basket.

  2. Add water and cooking wine to a wok or a deep frying pan and bring it to a boil.

  3. Rinse the prawns under cold running water and pat them dry with paper towels.

  4. Place the prawns in a single layer on a heatproof plate and season them with salt and pepper.

  5. Place the plate on the top layer of the bamboo steamer and cover it with the lid.

  6. Place the bamboo steamer on the wok or frying pan and steam the prawns for 4-5 minutes over low heat until they turn pink and opaque.

  7. Remove the bamboo steamer from the heat and transfer the prawns to a serving dish.

Alternative Steaming Methods

If you don't have a bamboo steamer, you can still steam prawns using alternative methods. Here are some options:

  • Use a metal steamer basket: Place the prawns in a heatproof plate and place the plate on top of the steamer basket. Cover the basket with a lid and steam the prawns for 4-5 minutes over low heat.

  • Use a microwave: Place the prawns in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a lid or plastic wrap. Microwave the prawns on high for 2-3 minutes until they turn pink and opaque.

When steaming prawns, it's important to use low heat to prevent them from becoming tough and rubbery. Also, make sure to use enough water to create steam and prevent the prawns from drying out.

For an added twist, you can use glass noodles, vermicelli noodles, or mung bean vermicelli noodles as a bed for your steamed prawns. These noodles are flavourful and add a nice texture to the dish. You can also use other seafood, such as scallops or clams, to create a seafood medley. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Flavour Enhancements

Prawns sizzling in a steamer, surrounded by ginger, garlic, and scallions. Aromatic steam rising, infusing the seafood with flavor

To add more flavour to your steamed prawns, there are a few things you can do. Here are some suggestions for enhancing the taste of your dish:

Garlic Sauce Preparation

Garlic is a common ingredient in Chinese cuisine and can be used to make a delicious sauce for your steamed prawns. To prepare garlic sauce, simply mince a few garlic cloves and fry them in oil until they turn golden brown. Then, add some sugar, soy sauce, and oyster sauce to the pan and stir well. You can also add some Shaoxing wine to the sauce to give it a more complex flavour. If you want a spicier sauce, you can add some chopped chillies or chilli oil. Once the sauce is ready, pour it over the steamed prawns and garnish with some chopped spring onions.

Sauce and Garnish Variations

There are many variations of sauces and garnishes that can be used to enhance the flavour of your steamed prawns. You can try using different types of sauces such as black bean sauce, hoisin sauce, or sweet and sour sauce. You can also add some sliced ginger or green onion to the steaming water to infuse the prawns with more flavour. For a more colourful presentation, you can garnish the dish with some chopped coriander or red chillies.

If you want to include other types of seafood in your dish, you can use scallops, mussels, or clams. These seafood options can be steamed together with the prawns and will add more flavour and texture to the dish. However, make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure that all the seafood is cooked properly.

Overall, there are many ways to enhance the flavour of your steamed prawns. Experiment with different sauces and garnishes to find the combination that works best for you.

Serving and Presentation

Prawns steaming in a bamboo steamer, surrounded by ginger, garlic, and scallions. A plate and chopsticks are ready for serving

Accompaniments

To complement the amazing flavours of your steamed garlic prawns, serve them with plain rice. The natural flavours of the prawns will be enhanced by the simplicity of the rice. You can also consider serving your prawns with other seafood dishes, such as grilled squid or pan-fried fish.

To add some colour and texture to your plate of prawns, garnish it with some chopped fresh garlic. You can also sprinkle some chopped parsley or coriander on top for a pop of green.

Plating Techniques

To showcase the golden brown colour of your prawns, arrange them in a circular pattern on a large plate. This will also make it easier for your guests to serve themselves.

If you're serving your prawns with other dishes, consider using individual plates for each guest. This will allow them to enjoy the flavours of the prawns without mixing them with other dishes.

For a more elegant presentation, you can serve your prawns in individual bamboo steamers. This will not only add a touch of sophistication to your dish but will also keep the prawns warm for longer.

Propose the use of other seafood such as scallops or mussels to add variety to your dish. Scallops or mussels can be used in place of prawns in this recipe. Simply adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Nutritional Information

A steaming basket filled with fresh prawns, surrounded by traditional Chinese ingredients and a recipe book open to "Nutritional Information how to steam prawns."

Steamed prawns are a healthy and nutritious dish that can make a great addition to your diet. Prawns are a good source of protein and are low in fat, making them a great option for those looking to maintain a healthy diet.

According to the provided search results, one serving of steamed garlic prawns contains approximately 59 calories, 2g of fat, 4g of protein, and 5g of carbohydrates. Prawns are also rich in minerals such as calcium, iron, and potassium, which are essential for maintaining good health.

When it comes to seafood, prawns are a great option due to their low levels of saturated fat and high levels of protein. However, if you want to experiment with other types of seafood, you can try using scallops or mussels instead of prawns. These seafood options are also low in fat and high in protein, making them a healthy alternative to prawns.

It is important to note that steaming is a healthy cooking method that preserves the nutritional value of the ingredients. Steaming prawns with garlic and vermicelli noodles is a quick and easy way to prepare a delicious and healthy meal.

Overall, steamed prawns are a great option for those looking to maintain a healthy diet without sacrificing flavour. With their high protein content and low levels of fat, they make a great addition to any meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the best way to keep prawns juicy while cooking?

To keep prawns juicy while cooking, it's important not to overcook them. Overcooked prawns can become tough and rubbery. Steaming is a great way to cook prawns because it allows them to cook quickly and evenly without losing their natural moisture. Be careful not to overcook them, as this can make them dry and tough.

Which type of prawns are ideal for steaming?

When it comes to steaming prawns, it's best to use fresh, high-quality prawns. Look for prawns that are firm and have a bright, shiny appearance. Prawns that are already cooked or have been previously frozen may not turn out as well when steamed.

Can I steam prawns straight from the freezer?

It's not recommended to steam prawns straight from the freezer, as this can result in uneven cooking. Instead, thaw the prawns in the refrigerator overnight or place them in a bowl of cold water for about 30 minutes before steaming.

How long should prawns be steamed if they're still in their shells?

If prawns are still in their shells, they should be steamed for about 5-6 minutes. It's important to ensure that they are cooked all the way through before serving.

Is there a simple recipe for steamed prawns with garlic?

Yes, a simple recipe for steamed prawns with garlic is to combine minced garlic with some soy sauce and sesame oil. Rub the mixture onto the prawns and steam for about 5-6 minutes until they are fully cooked. Serve with some chopped scallions and coriander.

What's a good method for steaming prawns with vermicelli?

To steam prawns with vermicelli, first soak the vermicelli in water until soft. Then, place the vermicelli in a deep dish and top with the prawns. Season with some soy sauce, sesame oil, and chopped garlic. Steam for about 5-6 minutes until the prawns are fully cooked. Serve hot with some chopped scallions and a squeeze of lime juice.

If you're looking to switch things up, you could also try using other types of seafood such as scallops or mussels in your steamed dish. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.