Singapore Chile Prawns Print Email

1 cup water
5 tablespoons tomato catsup
1 1/2 to 3 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch
1 teaspoon pounded brown preserved soya beans or dark miso (optional)
1/4 teaspoons salt

1 pound large, whole prawns (unshelled); ?3 tablespoons vegetable oil; ?8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped; ?8 fresh red chiles, roughly chopped; ?1 egg; ?2 scallions, cut into finger lengths;?1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice; ?1 small bunch cilantro, cut into 1-inch long pieces

Serving Suggestions: loaf of French bread

Make the Sauce: Whisk together all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Make the Prawns: Cut down the backs of the prawns and remove the black intestinal vein. Set prawns aside.

Heat the oil in a wok or shallow saucepan over high heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the chiles and stir-fry for another minute. Add the prawns and stir-fry until the shell turn slightly red, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sauce and stir-fry until the shells turn red.

Break the egg into the wok and, using a fork, streak the egg through the sauce (this is an important step, as the egg has to be in beautiful gold and white streaks). Simmer the sauce for a few seconds and remove from the heat. Stir in the scallions and lime juice.

Transfer the prawns to a platter, garnish with the cilantro, and serve with chunks of French bread.

Note: This dish is also wonderful with mussels, crabs or lobsters; or you could mix all the seafood together. It's a Singapore version of a French seafood stew. - Violet Oon