Five-Spice Salted Prawns

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The second starter on my Year of the Dragon Chinese Banquet menu was Five-Spice Salted Prawns. I found the recipe in Ching-He Huang’s Fast Food cook book. These were simple to make, and simply delicious! The original recipe has a hot coriander sauce which I didn’t make.

This quantity serves 2 – 4 people.

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100g potato flour or cornflour
  • 2 tbsps water
  • 600ml groundnut oil (for deep frying)
  • 12 raw tiger prawns, shelled and deveined with tails left on
  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper

Make the batter for the prawns by mixing the beaten egg and flour with the 2 tablespoons of water in a bowl. Set to one side.

Heat the oil (I actually used sunflower oil) in a deep saucepan (or a deep fat fryer if you have one) to 180C. I have a food thermometer which was invaluable for the deep frying I had to do, but if you don’t have one, you can check to see if the oil is hot enough by dropping in a cube of bread and if it turns golden in 15 seconds and floats on the surface, it is hot enough to fry.

Dip each prawn into the batter and lower gently into the hot oil one at a time (this stops them from all sticking together). Cook for 4 – 5 minutes until the prawns are cooked and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

In another bowl, mix together the Chinese five-spice powder, sea salt and white pepper and sprinkle over the cooked prawns. Eat immediately!

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