I know what you’re thinking – crispy prawns = deep fried prawns. But fear not! This takeaway treat is not deep fried, battered or dripping in oil. What they are is fiery, juicy and above all, fast.
This recipe was inspired by a box of ‘salt and pepper prawns’ from my local chinese. They are ashamedly garlicky and 100% antisocial, but they are gorgeous. I wanted the same experience but with less guilt (for both my health and my housemates). Even better – with this recipe, there’s no waiting around for an hour for delivery.
Oh. And it’s also gluten free!
What Makes This Dish Healthier?
While I cannot honestly say that these prawns are the peak of proteiny goodness, there are some techniques that make your typical takeaway fare just a little bit healthier. Firstly, using polenta (or cornstarch) instead of batter gives you a delicious, crispy coating without absorbing so much oil. Secondly, using one of these oils or something like Flora Cuisine is better for you than butter, ghee or vegetable oil. Lastly, I have replaced fried rice and those weird toasts that seem to have become a takeaway staple with fresh, peppery rocket and a sharp lemon drizzle.
Time: 10 minutes Serves: 1
100g fresh cooked prawns
Half red chilli, deseeded (or a whole one if you can take it)
1 small clove garlic
1 egg, beaten
Salt and pepper (preferably coarse)
Juice of half a lemon
1 tsp caster sugar
Rocket or steamed greens
1. Pour the lemon juice and sugar in a pan and heat gently until the sugar has completely dissolved. If you’d prefer a sticky sauce, leave to reduce until the desired consistency. If not, pour into a ramekin and leave to cool.
2. Heat a good glug of oil in a frying pan and turn the heat on medium-high. While the oil heats up, slice the garlic and chilli into rounds. Fry for a few minutes until they begin to smell delicious.
3. Meanwhile, pour the egg onto a plate, and scatter some polenta on another plate. Dip each prawn into the egg, coating completely, and then the polenta. Lower into the frying pan and cook for one or two minutes each side until crisp and golden. Spoon the contents of the pan onto kitchen towel to absorb any residual oil, then season generously with salt and pepper. Serve with rocket or greens and/or rice, and drizzle with the lemon mixture.
This makes a great starter, side dish or snack for friends and certainly beats some of the poor imitations you might find in a chippy. Big flavour with little effort – just make sure you have some breathmints to hand.
Alternatively…make it Thai with chilli and ginger and a lime drizzle, Indian with spices in the coating and raita dip, or keep it simple with just coated prawns, salt and pepper.