Prawn and Pork Stir-Fry

The Chinese combine foods in an unusual way, sometimes mixing seafood with meats, especially pork. The result is delicious, savoury and quite tasty Here minced pork is used to extend the more expensive prawns.

The best prawns to use are the uncooked variety. Although they often come frozen, a rinse in cold water with a tablespoon of salt is a technique used by Chinese cooks to refresh them. This recipe is equally good with fresh scallops.

Ingredients

  • 225 g (8 oz) raw prawns
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 450 ml (15 fl oz) groundnut oil or water
  • 1 tablespoon groundnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped black beans
  • tablespoons finely chopped fresh root ginger
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 450 g (1 lb) minced pork
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

For the Garnish

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions

Method

Peel the prawns and, if you are using large uncooked ones, cut them to remove the fine digestive cord. Wash them and pat them dry with kitchen paper. Combine the prawns with the egg white, cornflour, salt, sesame oil and pepper. Mix well and leave in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Heat a wok until it is very hot, then add the oil. When the oil is very hot, remove the wok from the heat and immediately add the prawns, stirring vigorously to keep them from sticking. When the prawns turn white (about 2 minutes), quickly drain them, discarding the oil.

If you choose to use water instead of oil, bring it to the boil in a pan. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately add the prawns, stirring vigorously to keep them from sticking. When the prawns turn white (about 2 minutes), quickly drain them.

Re-heat the wok or large frying-pan over high heat until it is hot. Add the 1 tablespoon of oil and, when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the black beans, ginger and garlic and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Add the pork and continue to stir-fry for 5 minutes. Drain the pork of any excess oil and return the pork to the wok. Then add the prawns to the wok, together with the soy sauces, Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry, salt, pepper and sugar. Stir-fry the mixture for 1 minute. Stir in the sesame oil. Turn on to a warm platter, garnish with spring onions and serve at once.

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