Sunday, August 12, 2012

Butter Basil Rice With Salted Egg Yolk Prawns

Last weekend, I was asking Pauline what she would like to have that we have not cooked at home before, and the first thing she came up with was salted egg yolk pork ribs, a dish which she enjoyed at Mellben.

Well, I was fine with the salted egg yolk portion, but did not like the pork rib as much as I always felt it was not a great combination. She suggested prawns instead and I agreed without hesitation.

As I do not cook Chinese that often, I decided to reference a number of online recipes for this, and almost everyone recommended me to cook the prawns with shells on to elicit a better flavor. I just did not concur.

I always think that cooking prawns with shells on is a myth, simply because if you can cook out the prawn flavors through the shells and heads, we can still get a very intense flavor, and retain a better texture for cooking prawns without shells.

Also, most recipes tend to cook the butter first, which is something I do not agree. Cooking butter first will burn the butter, and adding butter at the end will retain a tasty foam when you coat it with the egg yolks.

To begin, peel about a dozen prawn shells and heads and cook it in a saucepan to elicit the beautiful shell flavors. Add in some olive oil and a huge chunk of butter to make the prawn oil. You can add in some white wine as well but it is purely optional.

Strain the oil into a frying pan and heat it up. Add in some chopped garlic and a handful of curry leaves and saute until there is a significant aroma from the ingredients.

Lightly cook the peeled prawns for only a minute each side and set aside. Do not overcook the prawns here as they will be cooked again later.

Chop about 4 salted egg yolks in small pieces and add into the pan and cook until they break down and become somewhat pasty.

Now add a tablespoonful of butter to create the paste. It should foam nicely and once it becomes like a sauce, return the prawns into the pan and coat it for another minute and remove from fire.

To make the butter rice, make some basil butter by blanching a packet of basil leaves in hot water for a minute. Blend it with half a cake of butter until they are fully integrated.

Cook the rice in a pot of water and once the rice is just about cooked, add in 2 spoonfuls of basil butter and stir thoroughly to infuse the basil butter into the rice.

And there you have it, salted egg yolk prawns go extremely well with the rice and a very sumptuous and hearty dish. 

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