I am officially in love. After fated fling with curry leaves and curry puffs, I am introduced to another beautiful dish with these fragrant leaves. Where were thou all my life, I wonder. When Pai went to the market to get the leaves, I specifically requested for a big bunch of curry leaves, with biggest stem (or branch) still intact. I hope to grow these babies in our front yard.
Pai came back with these. I couldn’t be happier. After carefully removed most of the leaves for the dish, I quickly stuck the branch to potted compost. With my fingers crossed. I should be able to tell if this easy trick works in a week time.
The next dish to be featured is Cereal Prawn, or Nestum Prawn. Also known as Udang Nestum. It is a famous dish in any Chinese restaurants originated from our neighboring country. There is always something special about deep-fried prawns in batter. In this dish, the richly textured condiments are added, namely crunchy grain oat flakes, chili slices and fresh curry leaves. These are stir-fried in heaps of butter. Absolutely finger-licking good. I don’t know if any other brand of oat works, but I believe Nestum Original is always used for this.
Do you think you can love this dish? I couldn’t keep poking on the cereal the whole time I was shooting this. Unfortunately, the cereal got a bit soggy at the end of the shooting session. I threw the pan into pre-heated oven for a couple of minutes and the whole thing just crunched back up.
Get the freshest prawns. Devein and skin, leaving the tail intact. Marinade with pepper and salt for 30 minutes.
Add egg into the prawn.
Dust prawns with shifted flour and corn flour.
Deep-fry in hot oil till golden, about 3 minutes.
I love the color to be pale gold. Some do like the prawns to be really yellowish and golden – they add custard powder into the marinade ingredients. When extra crunch is preferred, the prawns are fried twice. I, on the other hand, like my prawns to be simple.
Get a couple of salted egg, rinse the yolks with cold water. Try to mash the yolks with fork into smaller bits.
Melt some butter in a wok.
When the butter is warm enough, toss in egg yolks.
Cook till the color of the yolks turn solid and the butter starts to bubble. Add curry leaves.
And sliced chilies.
Season with sugar.
And the last, and most important ingredients, Nestum cereal.
Work quickly and stir-fry everything till the butter dries up, fully soaked by the cereal. Cook till the cereal turn golden. Take care not to overcook. Burnt cereal is not sightly. Toss cooked prawns into the wok. Mix well and remove from heat.
Serve with steamed rice and some Chinese-style soup. Restaurant-style cooking, in a jiff!
Cereal Prawn, Udang Nestum
500 g prawn
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 egg, lightly whisked
2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tbsp corn flour
2 tbsp margarine, or butter
2 salted egg yolks
3 red chilies, sliced thinly, diagonally
50 g curry leaves
1 tbsp sugar
50 g Nestum cereal original
Remove heads, skin and devein prawns, leaving the tail intact.
Marinade prawns with salt and pepper for 30 minutes.
Heat cooking oil in a wok. Dip prawns in egg and dust with shifted flour and corn flour.
Deep-fry prawns in hot oil for 3-4 minutes till golden.
Drain on paper towel and set aside for later use.
Melt butter in a wok. Add mashed salted yolks into hot butter. Stir-fry for a couple of seconds.
Add curry leaves, sliced chilies, sugar and Nestum cereal.
Quickly stir-fry for 2 minutes, till cereal changes color, feels light and crunchy.
Toss in fried prawn. Mix well and remove from heat.
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