Individually quick frozen prawns are available in most markets, but I prefer to purchase black tiger prawns in a frozen 1 kilogram block. Most prawns found in the market are farmed, however it is possible to find the better tasting wild prawns in many markets or over the internet.
Recently available in the market are "quick peel" prawns that have been split down the back to make shell removal very easy. However, if you know how to peel shrimp this really doesn't save much time. Be cautious about purchasing shrimp that have been thawed and packaged in the display case. Be certain that they are freshly thawed and firm to the touch without any smell.
- 2 dozen medium to large prawns
- 6 Tbsp. corn starch
- 6 Tbsp. flour
- 1 cup Panko crumbs
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- Oil for deep frying (peanut oil preferred)
Shell the prawns leaving the tip of the tail in tact, if desired, as it makes a convenient handle. Rinse and drain the prawns, removing any veins that may be evident. Allow the prawns to drain while preparing the batter. Also, heat oil to 375 degrees in a wok or skillet for deep frying.
For the batter, combine the corn starch, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Mix well and add the egg. Begin mixing while slowly adding ice water to the mixture. Stop adding water when the batter has a consistency like a thin pancake batter. Place the panko crumbs in a paper plate or bowl for coating.
Once the oil is hot and the batter the proper consistency, hold each prawn by the tail and dip into the batter to fully coat on all sides except the tail. After dipping in the batter, drag the prawn through the panko crumbs to be coated on all sides. Then drop the prawn into the hot oil. Fry no more than 6 or 8 prawns at a time. Allow each to cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, until the coating becomes a golden brown. Remove from the oil with tongs or a slotted spoon and serve on a bed of lettuce leaves with the dipping sauces of your choice on the side.
- Yields: 4 servings
- Preparation Time: 20 minutes