Mother woke up early for the market last Sunday and invited a bunch of fresh shrimps to our house. We live in a middle-sized city with close proximity to Malaysia and Singapore. Good quality seafood are great export products so we don’t see much of them in the traditional wet markets. But on Sundays when the market goers’ number peaked, seafood vendors try to bring in as much good stuff as they can. That would explain my mother’s favorite weekend chore to drag me out of bed at 6.30 am to drive her to the market. Enough ranting? Okay, let’s move on.
The first dish we cooked with the precious prawns was our all time childhood favorite, prawn with soy sauce stir-fry. This dish generates the sweet and tangy taste from the generous use of sweet soy sauce. We are the proud aficionado of Indonesian sweet soy sauce. There is absolutely nothing that can substitute it. The sauce lends the richness of color and taste to our Indonesian dishes. For true foodie snobs, condiments such as sauces are not supposed to overwhelm the true taste of the main ingredients of any dish. But we just don’t care. We love our sweet soy sauce (kecap manis).
As usual, mother insisted on deep-frying the shrimps with skin on. This is definitely not your healthy seafood stir-fry, simple and quick stir-frying would be equally delicious. The skin and head are discarded, the tails are left intact. We stir-fried shallots with chili slices and sweet soy sauce. These are cooked till the chilies are soft and shallots are wilted.
The prawns are added last. The sauce are caramelized over high heat, the prawns will be beautifully cooked, simmering in the sweet sauce with a mild taste of chili and shallot. Beautiful and easy!
Prawy with Soy Sauce Stir-fry
200 g medium sized prawns
2 tbsp cooking oil, and more for deep-frying prawns
4 shallots, sliced thinly
5 chilies, sliced thinly
5 tbsp sweet soy sauce or Indonesian Kecap Manis
1/2 cup warm water
Deep-fry prawns with skin on for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain on paper towel
Heat cooking oil in a wok. Stir fry shallot, chilies quickly. Add sweet soy sauce and warm water. Cook for another 2 minutes over high heat
Toss in the prawns. Simmer over medium heat for 2 more minutes
Serve with warm rice