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Recipe: Malay Pepper Prawns

Posted on July 15 2016

While on Pulau Ubin, we learnt to cook this incredibly simple, yet powerful peppery dish, Pepper Prawns. Be forewarned....It calls for A LOT of pepper corns. A LOT. But the end results are worth the effort of hand pounding the pepper. That's really the only way to bring out some intense flavors otherwise lost when using an electric grinder. Trust me...you'll be pleasantly surprised! This recipe calls for deveined, unpeeled shrimp, which is how the dish is traditionally prepared. For convenience, i always use peeled and deveined shrimp. The end result lends itself to better presentation. The picture below is the traditional rustic version of the dish. Either way, it's simply delicious!

Recipe: Pepper Prawns

1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped finely
1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined (traditionally, use shrimp that are just deveined but with the shell on)
4 tablespoons peppercorns (dry-roasted in a pan and crushed in a mortar and pestle)
1 bunch of curry leaves (available at most Indian grocery stores)
salt to taste
1 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped for garnish
In a wok, over medium heat, melt the butter and add lightly fry the garlic until it starts to turn light brown. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Add the crushed black pepper, salt and curry leaves into the wok and give it a good stir or two. Immediately add the cleaned shrimp and stir-fry it in the wok until the shrimp are fully cooked and pink. This may take about 4-5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro. Serve the shrimp on a bed of white jasmine rice. Sriracha makes a good condiment on the side. 




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