Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Cooking shrimp with my 4 yr old

My son is at home with the nanny this week while his pre-school is shut down for Spring break and is a little bored because the day revolves around my 10 month old daughter.
So I've been trying to do something with him every morning before I go to work. Today, I am cooking shrimp with him. It's a really easy dish to cook with kids because the only chopping involved is a couple of cloves of garlic and I can get him helping with that too, by asking him to peel the garlic skin after he's given the cloves a good bash with a rolling pin. Then he gets to stand on his stool by the counter and "help" daddy measure. My son is a bit of a mama's boy, but he knows the kitchen is daddy's area and it's the best one on one time I get with him.

The recipe is modified from Kylie Kwong's "Simple Chinese Cooking". I bought it because the recipes seem simple and there was a good section in the front of the book on stocking your pantry for chinese recipes. I'll blog about that later... I had to do that twice, the second time was when I had to find gluten free alternatives to the sauces needed.

Honey Garlic Prawns


Quick Marinade

3 tsp corn flour or potato starch (I use potato starch)
1.5 pounds large prawns or shrimp
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1-2 tbsp vegetable oil for sautéing
Honey and garlic sauce
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1. In a large bowl combine soy sauce, egg yolk and toasted  sesame oil. Add cornflour/potato starch and toss to coat.
Here's what it looks like at this point:
Prawns in the quick marinade
2. For honey and garlic sauce, combine ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
3. Heat vegetable oil in a wok or skillet and add half the prawns. Cook for 1 minute on each side and then set aside on a plate. Add remaining prawns and repeat. 
I've cooked one side and flipped them over, and here's what they look like at this stage:
High heat will get them nicely browned
The batter is a bit runny, so careful to shake off the excess when you saute. The original recipe calls for a deep fry and you can also do that if you like. I prefer not to deep fry, so I always modify recipes if I can.
4.  Wipe the wok/ skillet clean and add the honey garlic sauce and simmer for 1-2 minutes until the sauce thickens and darkens. Add prawns and cook for an additional minute. Serve immediately.
And there it is: Yummy sweet, salty and garlicky shrimp. Kid approved!
Honey Garlic Prawns
I'm picky with shrimp... it's best to buy shell on shrimp and peel and clean it yourself or if you can't be bothered with that look for frozen, deveined shrimp. Don't buy the already thawed out deveined shrimp that you see at the meat/seafood counter in your local grocery store. It's rarely fresh.
When using frozen shrimp, thaw it in a bath of salted water. It helps keep the fresh seafood flavor. Just use 3 cups of room temperature water per pound of shrimp and stir in a tablespoon of salt. Once the shrimp is thawed out drain in a collander and pat dry before using in any recipe.

I used Trader Joe's Argentine Red Shrimp today for my recipe. It's shelled and de-veined so it's easy to use in a recipe and delicious.

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