Saturday 16 August 2008

Salt & Pepper prawns

Feeling a bit jaded with regards to the eating opportunities to be had in Glasgow, I feel the cooking urge to be strong in me, so continuing on the Asian theme I thought I would try my hand at Salt and Pepper prawns.

I love these. These are one of my favourite things to eat at Asia Style. They are big, perfectly cooked, slightly crunchy with a lot of heat and of course salt. Yum Yum. So, hoping that I could even replicate half the taste I searched for a method and this one for Gastronomy Domine seems to result in what I am looking for. I headed to the fishmongers on Byres road to be astounded by their prices £29 per kilo for king prawns shell and head on, £49! for the same prawns head and shell off. No thanks, thought I and promptly headed off to

which is where all the proper foodies by their fish. I was reassured by the long queue I had to join and tried to take a photo of the still wriggling langoustine but felt too self conscious! They have everything, fresh in that morning- mussels, queen scallops, crayfish, langoustine, not to mention lots of fresh fish including two huge turbot were situated in front of me. I got similar prawns to the other place for £15 per kilo.

Now these are prawns. Pepe would be proud. Or would he? I suppose I am talking about eating his relatives... oh well.

Once home I then needed to peel and de-vein the prawns, a task which I am ashamed to say I had not done before. However, I found this handy video on youtube which explains a rather nifty way of doing it which means you don't end up butterflying -or massacaring the prawns to bits. The veins:

Initially I thought I was doing it wrong but then on my third prawn out came the thin black sand vein, I reckon the first two had empty veins which is why couldn't see them.
Once peeled and de-veined you give em a wash

then toss them in the riceflour/salt/pepper mix.

Then into a hot pan.

I found that it was possible to cook the prawns and get them crispy without using too much oil. Bonus! Once the little beauties are done you then fry off the tasty mixture of garlic, spring onions and red chilies.

When the onions are soft you then sprinkle the fiery savoury mix on top of the prawns and stand back in admiration.

I didn't stand back for long before diving in with both hands, they were good. Finger licking good, and worth all that fannying about with the sand veins.

What I did find was that the white pepper I used has quite a distinctive taste so next time I might use equal parts of white and black pepper. I also has smashed up my Schezuan peppercorns before toasting them and this allowed for little nuggets of heat to stick to the prawns. I also put some chili flakes in and would add more next time as both HI and I though they would be even better, hotter.


Serena said...

Your Prawns look wonderful. I know what you mean about the fishmongers on Byres road, very expensive! Whereabouts is MacCullums? I might have to check it out.

Unknown said...

Top quality looking prawn dish and the first comment by someone from the outside world....that's a good day for the curious eater...



curious eater said...

Hey Serena, Maccallums is in a kind of odd place. It's essentially in Finneston. You turn off of Argyle St as if heading to PC World or the squinty bridge, you then take the immediate left, go up the hill, across the intersection and it's on the left. You park on the street and go into the courtyard. If you didn't know it was there you would miss it. Those prawns cost me £6.50. They were so big that we didn't have room to eat anything afterwards.

curious eater said...

Hello sorry, I meant turn right after the intersection I think it's Houldsworth st I tried to post a link but it came up as text so if you cpy and paste.. enjoy your seafood! I will look forward to seeing any new recipes you try out.

Serena said...

Thanks for that, I'll have a hunt around and hope to be eating some lovely seafood soon!