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Jumbo Prawns with Wok Fried Asian Vegetables

Demonstrated by: Executive Chef Wayne Hirabayashi.
Mothers Day with Hokus at Kahala Mandarin Oriental, Hawaii - May 1, 2003.

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Ingredients:

Jumbo Prawns with Wok Fried Asian Vegetables

Jumbo Prawns:

  • 16 jumbo (6 to 8 size per pound) prawns, deveined with shells intact
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Chinese Salt Blend
  • 1 1/4 cups cornstarch
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • 1/2 cup minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced green onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced Chinese parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced red chili pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger

Chinese Salt Blend:

  • 3/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground dried chili flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

Combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container until ready for use. Makes about 1 cup.

Wok Fried Asian Vegetables:

  • Chicken stock or salted water
  • 1/4 lb baby bok choi (Chinese white stem cabbage),
  • cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1/4 lb choi sum (Chinese cabbage hearts),
  • cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1/4 cup julienned carrots
  • 1/4 lb fresh asparagus, diagonally cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger root
  • 1/4 lb fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 lb fresh straw mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup wood ear mushrooms, soaked and drained
  • 1/4 lb fresh hearts of palm, julienned
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons water

Directions:

Jumbo Prawns:
Season prawns with half of the Chinese Salt Blend; dust prawns with cornstarch. In a wok or skillet, heat oil to 350°F. Fry the 1/2 cup garlic until golden brown; drain on paper towels, cool. Fry the shallots until golden brown; drain on paper towels, cool. Combine garlic and shallots. Fry prawns, adding one at a time, to the hot oil. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until shells start to separate from the meat; drain. Drain oil from wok and add green onion, parsley, chili pepper, garlic, and ginger. Cook for about 30 seconds. Add prawns and cook 1 more minute; add 1/4 cup of the browned garlic and shallots. Season to taste with remaining Chinese Salt Blend. Makes 4 servings.

Wok Fried Asian Vegetables:
In a large saucepot, boil chicken stock. Separately blanch bok choi, choi sum, carrots, and asparagus. Immediately immerse in ice water; drain. In a wok, heat vegetable oil; sauté garlic and ginger. Add blanched vegetables, mushrooms, and hearts of palm and stir-fry 3 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are cooked but still crisp. Season with salt and pepper. Mix cornstarch with water, stir into vegetable mixture to thicken. Makes 4 servings.

For each serving, place 1/4 of the Wok Fried Vegetables in the middle of the plate and place 4 Jumbo Fried Prawns on top of the vegetables; serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

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