July 19, 2006

Prawn Toasties

These bite sized delights were my favourite things at dinner when I was young, chubby, and absolutely unaware of what deepfried food did to my body! The used to taste heavenly!! But now...they just taste yummy...but not yummy enough for me to eat 10! *laughs*
It was a good way to use up a bag of frozen pre-cooked prawns I had in the freezer which I suspected was getting a little old. Equipped with a shallow wok, some sunflower oil and a vague memory of watching mom in the kitchen; I had a go at emulating my favourite childhood dish.
I topped the hot and crisp slices with a tiny dollop of belacan; which mom and dad painstakingly brought all the way from Malaysia specially for me and finished it off with a dot of basil on each.
"Belacan?!" some may be a little lost with the strange word. Correct me if I'm wrong; but I don't think there is an English word for it.

Belacan, a Malay variety of shrimp paste, is prepared from fresh tiny shrimp of a species known as geragau in Malay. These are mashed into a paste and buried for several months. The fermented shrimp are then dug up, fried and hard-pressed into cakes.

Belacan is used as an ingredient in many dishes, or eaten on its own with rice. A common preparation is sambal belacan, made by mixing belacan with chilli peppers, minced garlic, shallot paste and sugar.

The name belacan is possibly derived from Portuguese 'balcao' (also spelled 'balichao').

I do admit...belacan stinks! *LOL* Shrimp isn't a very pleasant smelling ingredient and it being cooked fermented after a couple of months doesn't help either! but I assure you, it's delicious! Spicy and robust in flavour; if you are able to look past it's repulsive smell.
6 slices white bread (cut in half and crusts removed)
200g's cooked frozen/fresh prawns
1 large egg
2 tbsp cornflour
2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper
1 tsp tumeric powder
2 tsp sesame seeds

5 tbsp sunflower/peanut oil for deepfrying

Defrost and rinse prawns in cold water. Mix all ingredients except the bread in a large bowl and leave for 30 minutes to absorb flavour. Spoon prawn mixture onto slices of bread and slowly slide one at a time into deep fryer or wok filled with hot oil. Remember not to flip the pieces over!
Remove when golden and crisp. Drain excess oil and leave to cool on absorbent kitchen towels. Spoon a tiny bit of belacan and some basil pesto on the top to serve. If using belacan is out of the question; a sprinkle of paprika or chilli flakes would probably taste splendid as well!

1 comment:

pinky said...

yay ur back...wohooooooooooo!!!!;)