Salted Prawns

A light, salty crust makes prawns taste sweeter, while crushed Szechuan peppercorns (kalustyans.com) lend a gentle, pulsing heat and a complex perfume to scallions, garlic, and ginger.

  • Servings: 4
Salted Prawns

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2009

Ingredients

  • 12 medium prawns or large shrimp, shells and heads on (optional), backs split open
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 4 scallions, sliced on the bias, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon Szechuan peppercorns, crushed

Directions

  1. Rinse prawns, and drain in a colander; shake off excess water. Mix together cornstarch and salt in a bowl. Dredge damp prawns in cornstarch-salt mixture to coat completely.

  2. Heat oil in a wok or a large saute pan over high heat until shimmering. Add prawns, and saute until just turning golden, about 2 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, scallions, and peppercorns. Cook, stirring constantly, until prawns are cooked through, about 3 minutes more. Garnish with scallions.

Cook's Notes

The prawn shells can be left on or removed. Leaving them intact, however, ensures that the meat stays moist and flavorful but not too salty.

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