You know what I love just as much as dessert? Seafood. Correction, deep-fried seafood. No wait, DEEP-FRIED ANYTHING!
Seriously though, you can take any ho-hum ingredient, dunk it in hot oil and suddenly it’s magnificent. Not that I’m saying prawns are ho-hum but you know, I’d take crispy and deep-fried over fresh any day. Svelte hips and tight butt cheeks be damned.
And school prawns are my favourite little creatures to baptise in the greasy lake of fire (sorry little dudes). You should be able to find them from any bog standard seafood monger and they’re super easy to prepare. They’re fried whole, heads and all, and they turn into these super crispy nuggets of heaven. Yeah I know, I know, eating heads; macabre but oh so delicious in this case. I love serving bowls of these during lazy summer lunches and bbqs and they make for killer beer food.
And to take the awesome level up a notch, dip these babies into paprika salt and the David Chang specialty; kimchi mayonnaise. Buuuuttt make sure you use Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise (available in any good Asian grocer) because normal mayo just pales in comparison. I don’t what it is, but Kewpie mayo is just so much more smoother, creamier, milder in acidity and slightly sweeter with a far better flavour. And while you’re at the Asian grocers, pick up a container of kimchi too. Mayonnaise + spicy, pickle-ly kimchi is out-of-this-world and it goes so well with these prawns.
Summer may be long gone here but I’d still happily chow these down in front of the tv with beer in my super trendy trackpants and daggy sweaters. Unless you’re from the other side of the world (hello Northerner friends!), in which case, get these on your next bbq table pronto. Don’t forget the beer.
PS – so like, you may have noticed that things are a little different in this humble blog of mine. I had another one of those annual finicky moods where suddenly my blogs looks like retro crud and I need to do an emergency makeover. Sure I lose my mind for a day or two as I struggle to remember how to do anything technical but voila! What do you think? (Let me have it. You know you want to).
And one more thing; it’s super belated but I’m thrilled and grateful to be chosen as one of 25 food and well-being bloggers in the Top 100 finalists for Kidspot’s Voices of 2013. I’m amongst some stellar company (boots are officially trembling) but the best thing of all is I’m also nominated alongside two very amazing friends. Yayyy!
- 3 tsps sea salt flakes
- 1 tsp smokey paprika
- 1/2 cup kimchi, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup kewpie mayonnaise
- A wedge of lime or lemon
- 1 cup of plain flour
- 1 to 1.5 tsps smoked sea salt flakes
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp shimichi togarashi
- 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper (I'm a wimp so this is all I usually add but you could add more if you like it hot)
- 500g school prawns
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Grind the sea salt flakes and paprika together in a mortar and pestle until finely ground and set aside. To make the mayo, mix together the kimchi and mayonnaise then stir through a squeeze of lime juice to taste and chill in the fridge until serving.
- Preheat oil in a deep-fryer or deep-sided saucepan to 180°C. Place all the ingredients for the seasoned flour in a large plastic freezer bag, twist top to sea then shake the bag to mix. Throw in the prawns in the bag, twist to close then shake it about again to coat. Remove prawns from the bag, dust off the excess flour then deep fry in batches until golden and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
- Squeeze some lime or lemon juice over the school prawns and serve immediately with the paprika salt and kimchi mayo.
- Kimchi mayo adapted from David Chang's Momofuku.