Cantonese Style Steamed Prawn with Fried Garlic

It had been long since I cooked anything really big and delicate. Busy life, busy schedules and a lot of unforeseen amusements make the real music play. I rarely could manage time to cook anything else other than some quick and tasty stir fries for my meals. But as everything, this phase was also not permanent and I got a break out of it today. I utilized this opportunity to the fullest with nine medium sized fresh tiger prawns. Steaming especially Cantonese style steaming is not a very uncommon way of cooking and we already know about it. So, I thought of doing it in my own improvised way; to add a pleasant surprise in it. It was a grand success and it makes me immensely happy when I write this blog to share my recipe with you all my friends. Try this on a holiday when you are not in hurry; it would be a memorable experience.

I used 9 tiger prawns weighing 300 gm together. It can serve 2 to 4 persons depending on what else you have in the menu. The recipe ingredients and proportion I am sharing here are tentatively with respect to this quantity of prawn.

Keep the things ready as enlisted below.

  1. Deveined prawns with head and tail intact; water drained off
  2. Grated garlic cloves – 4 tbsp
  3. Very thinly grated (long and thin pieces) ginger – 1.5 tbsp
  4. Minced scallions or spring onions – 2 tbsp
  5. Fresh coriander leaves – 0.5 cup
  6. Dry red chilies – 2 or 3, cut into diagonal pieces; seeds removed
  7. Fresh lime – 1, cut into halves
  8. Light soy sauce – 1 tsp
  9. Shaoxing wine  – 0.75 tsp
  10. Water – 0.75 cup
  11. Sesame oil – 2 tsp
  12. Vegetable/Olive oil – 1 tsp
  13. Sesame seeds – 0.75 tsp
  14. Sugar (granular)
  15. Salt

Now it is cooking time. I did it in 3 phases and would describe that below. But you can always do it as per your convenience.

Phase 1: Marinate

  1. Take a bowl/plate that would fit in your steamer (you can use either bamboo steamer or metallic steamer) and put the prawns in it.
  2. Add 2 tbsp of the grated garlic cloves, all the grated ginger, minced scallions or spring onions, coriander leaves, dry red chilies, juice of the half of the lime into it.
  3. Add the water followed by light soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, 1 tsp of sesame oil, small amount of salt and sugar.
  4. Mix well with hand and keep for not more than 10 minutes.

Phase 2: Steam

  1. Put the bowl/plate in steamer and steam for 2-3 minutes. Check, if the prawns are semi-cooked then stop steaming and take the bowl/plate out.
  2. Take the prawns out of the bowl/plate and put in the steamer directly and steam until fully cooked.
  3. Take the cooked prawns out and keep aside.
  4. Take the bowl/plate with the watery gravy and other ingredients in it back to the steamer and steam for a while until the vegetables are cooked and the alcohol is evaporated. In this process, adjust seasoning if required.

Note: I did it partly with prawns in the bowl/plate and party separately so that the gravy gets the prawn extracts in it but also the prawns take shorter time to be cooked as steamed directly. You may do it in a single go specially if you are using a steam plate that is flat enough to cook all the prawns uniformly together.

Phase 3: Quick fry and garnish

  1. Heat up the vegetable/olive oil in a wok and add the remaining garlic to it. Quick fry until brownish and aromatic. Remove from heat.
  2. Take a serving plate. Place the prawns and pour the gravy with the ingredients all over the prawns.
  3. Sprinkle the remaining sesame oil over it.
  4. Spread the sesame seeds over it.
  5. Spread a couple of pinches of sugar granules over it.
  6. Spread the fried garlic cloves over each of the prawns.
  7. Garnish with some more coriander leaves and the remaining half of the lime.
  8. Serve hot immediately with steamed rice.



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