Monday, January 13, 2014
I learnt to cook this dish from my late 3rd uncle.
Every year he will cook this dish for us on the first day of Chinese New Year. It's been 5 years since I last had it from him.
Men from my family had good cooking skills. My brother can cook too, but he doesn't do it often. Whenever my grandpa steps into the kitchen, all the women only becomes assistants. Same goes to my great grandpa who was a traditional baker who also roasts his own coffee.
I know there are many ways to cook this dish, but this is the way that I like it. Dry, smoky, sticky and fragrant.I finally managed to get it like how my uncle Kok Choong did it. I'm happy with this dish.
Sometimes, we may say, just cook it anyway, there's no need to confine oneself, and we can always make new dishes. Yes, that is true, but there are also times when we need to set a standard to adhere to. Not to say the standard must be high, but there is a taste we want, a fragrance we yearn and a flavour we miss. It will only be right if this dish is just the way I had it, to remind me of 3rd uncle, my Sam Sook.
Cantonese Pan Fried Prawns (Kon Jeen Ha Look) 干煎虾碌
Recreated by WendyinKK
Source: Yip Kok Choong
1kg large prawns, the bigger the better : )
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 stalk spring onion, white and green separated, and thinly sliced
20gm premium oyster sauce
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp sugar
1. Wash and drip dry the prawns. Trim prawns by snipping off their eyes and long legs. Snip the back with scissors and remove the intestine. Do not remove the shells.
2. Combine all gravy ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
3. Heat wok until very hot and put in 2 Tbsp of oil. Put in a few prawns and give the prawns a quick sear on both sides (about 5- 10 secs on each side, depending on the intensity of the stove). Dish up the seared prawns
4. Put in Tbsp of oil and sear a few more. Repeat the searing until all prawns are seared.
5. With remaining oil in wok (add more if too little, you need about 2- 3 Tbsp to give the prawns a nice coating later), on high heat cook garlic and shallots until fragrant. Put in both chillies, white parts of onion and cook until everything is very fragrant.
6. Return prawns to wok and put in prepared gravy. Toss everything to coat and cook until the gravy coats the prawn well. Put in green parts of spring onion. Toss and dish up.
*If the kitchen turns smoky... you've got it all right!