Chilli Prawns

Chilli prawns like these can be found all over Macau, and are on the menu at Fat Rice in Chicago.
December 11, 2016

Ingredients

GARLIC-CHILLI STUFFING
  • 2 tablespoons fermented black beans, minced
  • ¼ cup seeded and minced fresh red chillies or sambal oelek
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons minced cilantro stems
  • 8 U-10 prawns, head-on and shell-on, thawed if frozen
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
OPTIONAL GARNISH
  • Small handful of Portuguese olives
  • Small handful of horse ear-cut green onions, green parts only
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges and dipped in Korean chilli flakes

Instructions

To make the stuffing combine the fermented black beans, chillies, garlic, and cilantro stems in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.

Using a razor blade or kitchen shears, cut through the shell and flesh of each prawn along the back about halfway deep, starting at the base of the head through a quarter of the way from the tip of the tail.

Remove the vein running along the back using the edge of the razor or shears and discard. Fill the space you just cleaned on each prawn with the stuffing.

Heat a large pan with a lid over high heat and add the oil. When the oil is almost smoking, carefully lay the prawns in the oil and cook until the shell starts to brown and the flesh starts to turn pink, about 1 minute.

Flip the prawns and cook for another minute, browning the other side.

Carefully add the wine to the pan—it will spatter—and immediately cover with the lid. Steam the prawns until completely pink and fully cooked, about 4 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the prawns to a serving dish. Add the butter to the pan and swirl until melted by the heat remaining in the pan. Pour the sauce over the prawns.

Garnish with the olives, green onions, and lemon and serve immediately.

About this recipe

"Chilli prawns like these can be found all over Macau. At Fat Rice, they’re served head on and shell on, stuffed with a mixture of garlic, chillies, cilantro, and fermented black beans. The word prawn can cause some unnecessary confusion—we use it here simply to describe large shrimp. Look for shrimp that are head-on, shell-on, extra jumbo-sized U-10 (meaning under 10 per pound) or bigger. We had one at Restaurante Litoral in Macau that probably weighed half a pound! Use your hands to peel and eat the prawns, and don’t neglect the heads! Place the open end in your mouth, squeeze, and suck all that good stuff out. It’s even better if you’ve got some good dry Madeira to pour inside the head for a boozy shot of bisquelike goodness." -- from The Adventures of Fat Rice Cookbook

Related Stories & Recipes

Coconut Rice

The marriage of rice and coconut makes magic: they both grow in the same climates/areas (India, Southeast Asia, and Sri Lanka, to name a few), many of which are influences in Macanese cuisine.

Portuguese Barbecued Clams

They’re simply steamed with a fiery, garlicky, smoky, slightly sour sambal that finds its way inside to coat each briny, plump clam.

Ingredients

GARLIC-CHILLI STUFFING
  • 2 tablespoons fermented black beans, minced
  • ¼ cup seeded and minced fresh red chillies or sambal oelek
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons minced cilantro stems
  • 8 U-10 prawns, head-on and shell-on, thawed if frozen
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
OPTIONAL GARNISH
  • Small handful of Portuguese olives
  • Small handful of horse ear-cut green onions, green parts only
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges and dipped in Korean chilli flakes
Subscribe
Build your own subscription bundle.
Pick 3 regions for $60