My mother loves to cook sweet and sour prawn. She would like to think this is her signature dish. I love it too. Anything with sweet and sour sauce is always pretty special, isn’t it? It normally serves as one plate dish, since prawn is always something fancy. No idea why they are expensive here.
Other substitutes like fish cutlets, whole fried fish, chicken breast can also be used with the sauce. She loves doing everything from scratch. If it were up to me, I would have definitely used instant sweet and sour sauce straight from the jar.
She always leaves the shell on and deep fry the prawns before cooking. I personally like to shell the prawn, cut out the vein and slit the back so they open up like butterflies. Then tossing them straight into the hot wok.
I am so loving this dish.
Another note on food photography, I had been not careful these days. Most shots were over-exposed. Will keep in mind next time to use polarizer filter or difuse light with something. Plus I was not feeling particularly creative. Need something to booze up the creative juice. Enough with the white background(!) It’s boring (!)
1/8 (225 gr) fresh pineapple, cubed (or canned)
1 (175 gr) cucumber, seeded and cut diagonally
1 (125 gr) carrot, cut into match sticks
1 leek, cut diagonally
2 red chili, slice diagonally
600 gr prawn (with shells on)
2 tablespoons sugar + 2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt + 3 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1 stalk celery, cut diagonally
2 cm (1″) ginger, mashed
3 cloves shallot
1 clove garlic
2 cups cooking oil for deep frying
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 cup water
- Peel and cut pineapple into 1″ cubes. Cook in boiling water with sugar for 2 minutes. Drain and pat dry. If canned pineapple is used, cut into cubes and skip this step. They are ready to be used
- In a clean plate, mix cucumber and carrots with 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon vinegar and 2 teaspoons salt. Leave for 15 minutes and drain by squeezing them till the water comes out. Set aside
- Heat 2 cups cooking oil in a wok / deep frying pan over high heat. When smoke starts to come off the wok, deep fry the prawns for 5 – 7 minutes. Remove and pat dry with clean paper towel. Drain the oil from the wok. Reserve 1/2 cup oil in the wok
- Heat remaining oil over high heat and add ginger, leek, celery and chili. Stir fry for 2 minutes until all flavors are released
- Add carrot and cucumber, pineapple cubes, tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 cup water. Cook for another 3 minutes
- Dilute 1 tablespoon tapioca starch with 1/2 tablespoon cold water. Add 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce. Add the liquid into the wok. Mix well
- Toss in the prawn. Cook for 3 minutes or less, till the sauce thickens. If thinner sauce is preferred, more water can be added
- Serve with steamed rice or egg noodles
Step by step shots