Sunday, 3 November 2013

Kung Pao shrimp


  It is most unfortunate that the area I live in has quite frankly some of the most appalling places to eat, even the prospect of getting a takeaway (one of lives lazy pleasures) leaves me completely disheartened, although thoughts of being lazy and having a meal delivered to my door sounds most appealing, I'm faced with the reality that I would only feel disappointed and out of pocket. Maybe it is a blessing in disguise that I don't enjoy a takeaway, maybe it's high standards, maybe it is that I'm stubborn, I would rather cook something great than being given mediocre Knock off English version of Chinese food. Kung Pao is a sichuan Dish, I have made no secret of my love for sichuan food,it encompasses everything I love about food, the best part is that it is totally unapologetic about how hot the food is. 
 If you do not like spicy food, I suggest you look away now because this dish is only for those extreme heat lovers, the ones who get a kick out of a kick, and are dissatisfied unless they are sweating.

Do not even try to make a mild version of this dish, it would be like making a fish pie with beef, the heat has to be done, I did consider renaming my version of Kung pao "Ka-pow", but I know I would get many angry comments from the Sichuan Province so I think I will leave it as it is. I guarantee this will take less time than if you have chose, dial, order and have  your takeaway delivered, super fast and tastes 100% better than a rubbish takeaway.

For the sauce:
2 tbsp Kecap Manis
2 tsp black rice vinegar
3 tbsp of light soy sauce
2 tbsp of sugar
1 tbsp of honey
6 tbsp of water
1 1/2 tsp of corn flour
a large pinch of ground white pepper
a small pinch of sea salt
1 tsp sesame oil

For the Dish:
300g of peeled and deveined king prawns
2 sliced fresh red chillies
1 white onion cut in half and each half into six pieces
1 red pepper cut into large chunks
3/4 cut of whole salted cashew nuts
1 tbsp of sesame oil
1 tbsp of chao zhou chilli oil (with the bits in the bottom)
10 dried red chillies (rehydrated in hot water)
6 finely chopped large garlic cloves
4 tbsp of water

Start by getting ver prepared, make sure that all the vegetables are prepped and all the ingredients are measure, this just makes life easier because chinese food does not wait for anyone. Place all the sauce items into a bowl and stir until the cornflour has fully dissolved.
 Once this is all done it is time to cook. In a wok or heavy based pan add the oils, cashews, onion, pepper, chillies (both dried and fresh), cook until the onion soften slightly, you will now need the 4 tbsp of water to help retain the crunch in the vegetables, add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes before adding the bowl full of sauce, when the sauce starts to thicken add the prawns, when the prawns turn pink serve immediately, finish with a few sprigs of coriander for colour.

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