One of the wonderful things that we can do in the kitchen that always enhances the flavors of various foods is to marinate. You can take meats for instance and marinating will take a lesser cut to a whole new level, thus saving you money. Indeed it's a very inexpensive way of elevating the taste barometer. What's so wonderful about this is the sky's the limit when it comes to ingredients to use for your marinating.
In addition to cheaper cuts of meat, marinating works wonders for even the higher end foods such as seafood. Prawns are a perfect candidate for this process and this article will introduce you to the effects that ginger has on bringing out the rich and savory flavors that come from the sea. Ginger Prawns are the end result of the infusing of the ginger root's flavor into the flesh of the prawn through several hours of marinating in a bath of several ingredients both liquid and dry, for several hours. This is what you will need to do before completing the dish that we will create today. Let's start by getting the following ingredients into a container that you can snap shut:
Mix all these ingredients thoroughly and with a fork, mash the ingredients more. Once well mixed, let it set for about 15 minutes to allow all the flavors to infuse. During this time, you can work on deveining and butterflying your prawns.
What does it mean to "butterfly" ?
You have probably heard this term time and time again if you've ever spent time on the internet and surfing the various food sites. Whether it is for beef, chicken, fish, or whatever protein you are preparing, butterflying is simply the process of opening and fanning out. Indulge me for a moment and put the palms of your hands together. Now imagine the line that is made where the two palms connect is a cut made by your knife. Now slowly start opening your palms while keeping the end where your little fingers are, tightly connected. This is called butterflying. This is what you need to do with your prawns.
Let's start out by talking about the prawns to use. Don't go with the smaller ones. Stick to the ones that are 16 count or less. The number 16 indicates how many it takes to make a pound. Ideally, if you can find some with a count of 12 it would work great. It's a bit more expensive per pound; however, you also need fewer prawns that way. Next you want to devein which means to cut into the shell at the top (or the back) of the prawn. There is a dark colored string like vein that you want to remove. Easily done with a sharp knife, be sure to run cold water afterwards. Do not remove the shells at all for this recipe. Once you have made a cut on the back, continue to cut into the flesh until you can fan out or butterfly each half, while still connected. Set each prawn shell side up on a board and with your hands, flatten each one nicely. Once done, add them to the ingredients you used for marinating. Mix all the ingredients and prawns well and cover tightly, set in the refrigerator and leave it for about 3 hours. You should count on 4 prawns per person for a 12 count or 6 prawns for a 16 count.
What has been found to compliment very well with Ginger Prawns is a nice Chinese noodle dish, tossed with sauteed mushrooms, shallots, and other ingredients of your choice. There are a variety of Chinese and Asian noodles out there so it is a matter of personal taste as to which ones you will want to use. For this dish, the popular Chow Mein style is being used. These noodles cook very rapidly, so don't start them until you have completed the marinating process. To accompany your prawns, here's what you'll need:
16 oz package of Chinese noodles
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup of oyster mushrooms, roughly cut with your hands
1/2 cup of either Shitake or Enoki mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, very finely sliced or slivered
1 shallot, chopped
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
Pepper, dash of salt
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Remember the marinating ingredients you put together? Remove the prawns and set them aside. Now add the remaining liquid to the pot of water. This will add a very nice flavor to the noodles.
In a large fry pan, add the olive oil and sesame oil and heat over medium high heat. Quickly saute your prawns once oil gets real hot. Saute skin down first for about one minute, then turn them over and saute for another minute or so. Remove them and set aside, covered with foil. Now add the noodles to the boiling water and occasionally stir with a large fork. Now saute your bell pepper, mushrooms, shallot and garlic over medium heat and stir for about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 ladle of the pasta water to the frying pan and stir with a spatula. Remove pan from heat. Continue to boil noodles for about 2 more minutes until they are cooked al dente. Now add the frying pan back to the medium heat and with prongs, add the noodles to the pan and stir for about 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer noodles and mushrooms to a serving platter and garnish with the prawns. Serve while still hot. You will love the combination of flavors and the ginger very mildly comes through both the prawns and the noodles. This dish is definitely worth a try.