Tag Archives: prawns

Sweet and sour prawns

17 Jul

 I love Chinese food.  Come to think of it, I love most food, which is why I will never be anorexic!  Still, Chinese food is one of my favourites, and Sweet and Sour dishes are usually my choice off the menu when we eat out.  Last night I made an old favourite, Sweet and Sour Prawns.  Terry, my husband, always insists that he hates sweet and sour dishes. The fact that he did not leave even one grain of rice on his plate says everything about this recipe.  Another thing that amazes me is that it didn’t make my husband sneeze!! He always sneezes when we go out for a Chinese meal.  I wonder if it is the monosodium glutamate? 

Sweet and Sour sauce originated in China, particularly in the North-east of China.  It is cheap to make and, because of this, it is sometimes known in China as the people’s sauce.  This local name probably reflects the fact that it was once, distributed by the Chinese Communist Party during the Cultural Revolution.  Often, in China, this is a dipping sauce rather than one added to the wok to produce a dish we are familiar with in the UK.  Perhaps one of the most famous exceptions to this is Cantonese Sweet and Sour Pork.

I love this recipe.  I think it’s the fact it includes chillies.  They give the dish a heat that enhances the flavour in a spectacular way.  It is quick and easy, and only contains 161 calories! I served it with plain boiled rice but I think it would be good with noodles as well.  Give it a try, but be warned, you may find you will be disappointed afterwards if you choose this at the local Chinese restaurant!  The recipe is from the Delicious Website.  I have included my own photographs to demonstrate each step.  My advice would be to prepare everything before starting to cook as the cooking time is less than 10 minutes altogether, so there is very little time to waste if you don’t want to overcook the ingredients.

Sweet and Sour prawns


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Prawn salad, nicoise style – delicious!

26 Jan

  It is so difficult to eat salads in winter even though I love them.  Not only are they healthy but they help me to lose weight, providing the dressing isn’t too high in calories.  The challenge for me is to find interesting salads that taste good even when it is wet and cold outside.   The other night I found myself in a position where my husband wanted curry and I wanted salad.  It was easy to divide the prawns for two separate dishes and I just happened to have a few cooked Jersey Royal potatoes left over and a handful of Dwarf beans in the fridge that I hadn’t used.  The latter two are essential components of a Salad Nicoise, one of my favourites, so it is no wonder I decided to do a variation on this theme.  The outcome was absolutely delicious and I will definitely be making this again!

Nicoise is the French word for “in the style of Nice.” So any dish that is labeled Nicoise would be in the cooking style of Nice in Provence, France. Usually these are recipes that have ripe olives, tomatoes and anchovies. The predominant flavoring is often garlic.

The prototypical dish is Salad Nicoise and includes olives, tomatoes, anchovies and vinaigrette, along with fava beans, tuna and hard-boiled eggs. (Even though potatoes are found in recipes outside of France, this is not typical of Nice.)

Compared to many, this is a relatively low-calorie recipe for this style of salad.  I hope you give it a try.

Prawn Salad Nicoise                                        Serves 2

  • 125g raw king prawns
  • 1 egg (free-range and organic if possible)
  • 1 little gem lettuce
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8 Kalamata black olives
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 6-8 New Potatoes, peeled, cooked and sliced
  • 100g Dwarf beans, topped and tailed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Juice 1/2 lemon
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped dill
  1. Bring a small pan of water to the boil and add the egg and prawns.  Boil for 4 minutes then remove the prawns with a slotted spoon and dry on kitchen paper.  Continue to cook the egg for a further 4 minutes, remove and run under cold water.  Peel off the shell and quarter.
  2. Using the same pan but with fresh boiling water, add the beans and blanche for 4 minutes until they are just tender.  Drain and reserve.
  3. Separate the leaves of the lettuce and tear into pieces.  Put into a large bowl.  Add the tomatoes, olives, onions, potatoes, cooled beans, prawns and egg.
  4. Mix together the lemon juice, olive oil and dill in a small bowl.  When combined pour over the salad and gently toss to coat all ingredients.  Season if you like (I didn’t think it was necessary).  Serve immediately.

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Prawn Saganaki – a wonderful Greek dish

7 Aug

DSCI0112I remember the first time I had Prawn Saganaki. It was on the beautiful island of Aegina, cooked by the sister of a dear friend for their Fathers 90th birthday party. I had to move the dish away from me or I would have eaten the lot.  I have looked many times for the recipe but have struggled to find it.  There are some on the internet but, somehow, the ingredients don’t seem to marry with the taste I remembered.  Recently we went for a week in Stalis, Crete.  I lost count of how many times I ate Prawn Saganaki or Mussel Saganaki while I was there. The most wonderful of all was served in an ouzeri called Tsourlis, almost next door to the apartments where we stayed.  They made their Mussel Saganaki with fresh mussels and it was absolutely to die for.

I had an idea in my head of the ingredients and was delighted when I cross-referenced this with the recipe in my very old Greek cookery book written by Rena Salaman.  Rena is a guru of traditional Greek cooking and, although this little paperback does not include pictures, the way she writes about her food and the places she remembers eating them is so vivid you feel you can almost taste the dishes she is describing.  She does not call her dish Prawn Saganaki but ‘Yarithes Yiouvetsaki’.  The dish is exactly the same as the ones I have tasted – prawns baked in a fresh tomato and feta cheese sauce.  Wonderful on its own  with chunks of fresh bread to mop up the sauce. Rena’s book is simply called ‘Greek Food’. It was published in 1983, not sure if there are newer publications. The ISBN IS 0-00-636467-5. If you want to read about wonderful places in Greek and maybe relive some memories, or simply want to make good Greek food, then this book is a must.

Saganaki (Greek σαγανάκι) refers to various Greek dishes prepared in a small frying pan, itself called a saganaki, the best-known being an appetizer of fried cheese.

Here is the recipe, slightly modified

King Prawn Saganaki                                    Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a starter

  • 200g raw king prawns
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 400g fresh ripe tomatoes, skinned and sliced
  • 100ml dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 75g feta cheese
  1. Preheat an oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan then add the onions and fry over a lo-medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the onions are soft but not coloured.
  3. Add the oregano, wine and tomatoes then continue cooking for 5 minutes until the tomatoes start to break down. Season, add the parsley then crumble in the feta cheese. Mix well, bring to the boil then remove from the heat.
  4. In the meantime bring a small pan of water to the boil then add the prawns and cook for 2 minutes until turned pink. Be careful not to overcook as they will go hard.
  5. Put the prawns in an ovenproof dish and cover with the sauce.  Cook in the oven for 15 minutes.
  6. Serve with chunks of crusty fresh bread.

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