This post is actually long-overdue. I cooked this before the recent oil spill, and I have not made any shrimp dish since. I already forgot about this dish, if not for the picture that was in the deep recesses of my folder (yeah, it's that deep! Haha).
I used chili garlic sauce in this recipe, but feel free to use Sriracha, Sambal Oelek, Tabasco, or anything else you have in your fridge.
What you need:
1 pound prawns
1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
5 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
2 stalks green onion, chopped finely
thumb-sized piece of ginger, chopped finely
1 tablespoon rice wine
1/4 cup tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon + 1/2 tablespoon corn starch, divided
1 cup shrimp broth
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon canola oil, + more for deep frying
What to do:
Rinse the prawns thoroughly. Remove the heads and save them. Using a boning knife, cut along the back of the shrimp and remove the veins. Wash, and use a paper towel to pat dry the prawns. Add a tablespoon of corn starch and toss to coat all prawns evenly.
Put the shrimp heads in a small sauce pan over high heat. Add about 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Let cool. This will be your shrimp broth.
In a small bowl, whisk the chili garlic sauce, ketchup and rice wine. Set aside. In a separate bowl, dissolve the sea salt, sugar, and 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch in shrimp broth.
Heat enough oil for deep frying in a saucepan. Add in the prawns and deep fry for about 2 minutes, or until cooked. Keep an eye on it - overcooked prawns/shrimps become rubbery. Let drain on a cooling rack and set aside.
Remove all the oil from the wok, save for about a tablespoon. Saute the garlic, ginger, and green onion for about a minute. Add in the ketchup mixture and the shrimp broth. Bring to a boil. Add the prawns and let cook for another minute.
Tips, Tricks and Tweaks:
1. DO NOT overcook the prawns - if using shrimps, reduce frying time to half.
2. Too spicy for you? Lessen the chili garlic sauce to suit your taste buds.
3. Substitute the shrimp broth with water. Or water with shrimp bouillon.
4. You can use fresh or frozen prawns for this dish.
5. For those with weaker constitutions, you can skimp the prawn head boiling. But it really gives a lot of flavor.