With various recipes from salted egg fries, to salted egg fried chicken, or salted egg potato chips gaining popularity lately, I just thought it may be worth looking back to where all of these really originated – salted egg prawns, and yes, the dish simply works excellent thus its exploit.
While it may sound complicated, the recipe is basically a quick Asian stir-fry, that merely needs a hot wok rather than much culinary expertise.
Let’s start then! I could not stress this enough. . . work with no other than fresh seafood, always. Fresh prawns in this case, just have a unique sweetness to them that you can’t get by using frozen varieties.
You can use your prawns shell-on, peeled, or butterflied, all yielding equally excellent results. This preparation really is up to personal preference.
I prefer leaving those shells on, splitting the back side open with a pair of kitchen shears. The shells just give much more surface area for the salted egg glaze to cling on to, while partially cutting it open makes way for that sauce to reach into the flesh aside from making eating the prawns much easier.
Lightly season the prawns with salt(go easy for now as we’ll be using salted egg yolks for the sauce) and dredge them lightly in some rice flour. This coating will again give much more surface for the sauce to adhere to and some crunch too. Though all-purpose flour may be a workable option, it just won’t crisp up as nice as rice flour.
Get a good amount of vegetable oil really hot and fry the prawns briefly. It’ll need literally just a few seconds before the prawns turn pink telling you that they’re ready to be set aside for the meantime.
In a separate wok, melt some butter and sautee the minced garlic and chili flakes. Keep stirring everything around the pan to keep the garlic from browning. We want the garlic caramelized without giving it any color.
Once the garlic bits have softened up considerably, get the salted egg yolks into the wok, and mash them into the butter.
I always intentionally include a few of the whites too. They end up as nice bits of flavor in the final dish.
The sauce in the wok will quickly thicken up and turn foamy. Give those flavors just a few seconds of stirring to all come together.
The chopped scallions go in next, taking really a few seconds to sautee.
Having been fried previously, we wouldn’t want to overcook these prawns so we’re adding them in last. Turn the heat off and toss the prawns into into the wok, coating each evenly with the salted egg yolk sauce.
Quick, simple, and really excellent. No wonder this recipe is making its way into various modern fusions. I’m sure it’ll work great with chicken wings, crabs, fried fish, or crisp spare ribs. Until next time.