Spicy Crispy Prawns

Put another shrimp on the barbie! Ahh, that famous Paul Hogan line. It’s probably the most common line an Aussie hears when they’re overseas and asked to reveal where their accent hails from. This is especially the case in America where the ad was broadcast in the ’80s in an attempt to convince you to spend your hard-earned dollars on the trip-of-a-lifetime Down Under.

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It’s also the most irritating and irksome phrase an Aussie can hear. Do you know why? Because we don’t call them shrimp! They’re called prawns in Australia. And yes, there may technically be a size difference that distinguishes a shrimp from a prawn and vice versa, but I think the main difference is merely your geographical location. In Australia (and the UK, and most other Commonwealth countries) it’s prawns; in North America it’s shrimp. Hence the reason an ad that was targeted at an American audience suggested that we put our shrimp on the barbie instead of our prawns. And we’ve been dealing with the ramifications ever since!

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So now that I’ve given you the skinny/the heads up/the dirt and the lowdown about shrimp and prawns, please be very careful using that quote when meeting Aussies for the first time. They’ll likely roll their eyes at you, shake their head in shame, sigh and mutter something about ignorance. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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Now onto the reason I’m talking about prawns – Spicy Crispy Prawns. These are, hands down, the most fiddly and messiest things I’ve ever made, but they sure were tasty. Using a ziploc bag to coat the prawns will probably go a long way to keeping your kitchen clean-ish and chaos free, as I learned the hard way. A deep fryer and skimmer or chip basket would also be useful, but aren’t essential. The crispy coating mingled with the spicy creaminess of the sauce takes this dish from good to great. Fantastic to first class. Awesome to amazing. Terrific to tremendously tasty. Do you see where I’m going with this alliteration? The stuff was delish.

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Spicy Crispy Prawns

Serves 4

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

SAUCE:

200g Greek yoghurt

3-4 tsp Sriracha sauce (to your liking)

2 tsp honey

¼ tsp garlic powder

PRAWNS:

Approx. 1L vegetable oil, for deep frying

2 eggs, beaten

1½ cups plain flour

¾ cup cornflour

Herbs and spices of your choice

300g frozen cooked and peeled prawns, thawed according to packet

Lettuce leaves, for bedding

Sesame seeds, to garnish

Spring onions, chopped, to garnish

Method:

  1. In a large, two-handled saucepan, add enough vegetable oil to reach approx. 3cm up side of pan (I used 1L, but my pan is big). Heat over medium-high heat to 180ºC/350ºF or until a piece of bread dropped in the oil browns and the oil sizzles and bubbles. Alternatively, heat a deep fryer to 180ºC/350ºF.
  2. While the oil is heating, make the sauce by mixing Greek yoghurt, Sriracha sauce, honey and garlic powder in a small bowl.
  3. For the prawns, combine plain flour, cornflour and the herbs and spices of your choice in a large ziploc bag or bowl. In batches, toss the prawns in the flour mixture, then the beaten eggs, then back in the flour mixture before frying in the saucepan/deep fryer for 3-4 minutes, until the prawns are crispy and golden. Remove using a skimmer or slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate to soak up any excess oil. Repeat with remaining prawns.
  4. When finished, add prawns to a large bowl and cover with sauce. Toss to coat fully, before serving on a bed of lettuce leaves and garnishing with sesame seeds and spring onions.

Adapted and rewritten from OMFG. So Good.

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