Stir-fried Spicy Chilli Prawns with Peppers and Mushrooms
500g uncooked shrimps/prawns (if using frozen, defrost. make sure they are fresh/freshly frozen at least or no amount of velveting will help.)
1 large sweet bell pepper (I used yellow. Red/orange is sweet too. I don't like the green one that much)
1 large handful of fresh button/chestnut mushrooms
1 large onion
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine (shaoxing/huadiao)
1 tbsp palm/coconut/groundnut oil
1-2 red chillies (you can pop in a bird's eye chilli for more heat if you want, or use the normal kind. You can also use or 1-2 tbsp ground chilli powder)
1 tbsp soy sauce (I use naturally brewed tamari)
1 heaped tbsp of baking soda
1 small egg white
1 1/2 tsp tapioca starch
1. Prepare the prawns first by deveining (either by slitting the back or this fantastic toothpick method). Then submerge in ice water with the baking soda for 30 min. Rinse off in cold running water, pat dry, then marinate in egg white and tapioca starch for 1h or overnight.
2. Slice the vegetables into even-sized pieces and blend the ingredients for the chilli paste together.
3. Heat wok over high heat, add oil. Add your velveted prawns and stir-fry till it just turns pink, then remove and set aside.
4. Now add chilli paste with onions into the wok, stir-fry till you smell the aroma of the chilli and the onions turn translucent.
5. Add the peppers and mushrooms, and continue stir-frying quickly till they're nicely seared, 1-2 min.
6. Add your 80% cooked prawns with the tbsp of rice wine, and continue stir-frying quickly till everything is nicely mixed and coated and the liquid evaporates. Don't overcook! Serve immediately.
Finished Spicy Chilli Prawns, Peppers and Mushrooms Stirfry
I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but the prawns were exceptionally smooth, plump and "crunchy" (what the chinese call "QQ"). It added a great contrast of textures to the crisp and tender sweet bell peppers and the soft caramelised onions and mushrooms, and of course, everything tastes better with chilli so there's no way you can go wrong.
Below is a photo of a stirfry done similarly, but using 1. un-velveted, 2. slit-in-the-back-to-remove-the-vein prawns. If you compare the photos, you might be able to see these prawns are a little less QQ (because of 1), and that they curl into a butterflied ball (because of 2).
Spicy Chilli Prawns and Snow Peas Stirfry
The dish was still really yum, especially with the natural sweetness and crunchiness of fresh snow peas, and like I said, everything tastes better with chilli. Do and use what you like for your own prawn and vegetable stir-fry(: