When I think winter meals I think roasts, soups and curries. I think hot, slow-cooked dishes that warm the body and the soul. Pondering a dish for a cool winter evening would not usually entail a consideration of tropical fruits or seafood. However, I am a curious individual who thrives on change, so when I stumbled across this dish by Judy Kim (a columnist for Delish) I had to try it. A couple of minor tweaks have turned this in to one of my family’s favourite Friday night dishes. I must give a word of warning though. Those who are more health conscientious may be alarmed by the revelation that this dish does not contain vegetables. Never fear! Before serving, I often add a generous handful of fresh parsley and/or coriander from my garden. I toss the herbs vigorously with the prawns and suddenly I’ve met the meat and two veggie quota. Well ... that’s what I tell myself.
Coconut Prawns with Spicy Honey
400-500 grams of fresh prawns with tails on, peeled and deveined
2 finely chopped spring onions
1 small ripe lemon
1 large egg, beaten with 1Tbsp water
¼ cup honey, any will do but I prefer manuka
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup jasmine rice
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup of plain flour
Lashings of olive oil
Lashings of freshly ground salt and pepper
Prepare your rice according to cooking instructions.
Zest your lemon, and then juice it. Combine honey, 1 tsp of the lemon zest, 1 tsp lemon juice, and cayenne pepper in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Gradually raise heat to bring your spicy honey to the boil. Simmer for one minute, remove from heat and cover with a lid to keep warm until serving.
Season prawns with lashings of salt and pepper. Place flour in a small bowl and egg mixture in a small bowl. Mix panko crumbs together with coconut in a further medium-sized bowl. First dredge prawns in flour, move to dipping in egg mixture, finally dredge prawns in panko crumb and coconut mix. Shake any excess mixture of the prawns and place aside.
Fill a large skillet or deep dish pan with about two inches of olive oil. Heat on high until the oil reaches 350 degrees or starts to pop and splatter. This is where one of the old mesh pan covers comes in handy for dangerous spits of hot oil. Working in a couple of batches, place the prawns in oil individually. Fry prawns for a couple of minutes on each side so they cook evenly. You might want to taste test at this point to ensure you don’t over or under-cook them. Sprinkle finished prawns with some more salt, and set aside. Cover a nice big serving dish with your rice, and throw your prawns over top. Sprinkle with finely chopped spring onion, then drizzle with warm, spicy honey. Ecstasy!
Nicola Bolton firstname.lastname@example.org