Coconut king prawns
Coconut King PrawnsI was working as a corporate lawyer for Clifford Chance in Hong Kong in 2002, and it gave Lisa an excuse to join me for a few weeks.
One of the perks was to have access to the company junk (a Chinese boat), which gave us the opportunity to visit Lamma Island.
Famous for its seafood, heritage, peace and tranquillity, Lamma Island was a breath of fresh air away from the traffic jams of Hong Kong.
I remember it was hot the day of our visit, so we decided to eat outdoors to catch the breeze. This is what we ate, served by a scraggly-looking man with even more scraggly trousers.
The prawns were massive, much bigger than I had ever seen before, and I can still picture the scene as they kept trying to jump out of the wok and into the open fire, only to be skillfully caught by a fat woman.
Under the fire, the coconuts were roasted, giving off a whiff of toffee as they caramelised.
This dish was the standout meal for me during that visit, and for days afterwards I raved about my find and how delicate the flavours were.
In addition, I was really pleased because breadcrumbs were not used, making this probably one of the tastiest and most moreish gluten-free recipes that I know.
Gluten and dairy-free
Serves two (makes 10-16)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
YOU WILL NEED
225g raw jumbo king prawns, peeled and deveined, tails intact
½ tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
100g desiccated coconut
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
300ml sweet chilli sauce, to serve
Cut the king prawns slightly lengthways to devein, keeping the tail end intact, then rub the salt all over them.
Dip each prawn into the beaten egg, then the coconut. Repeat the process so the prawns have a double coating, then shake off any excess coconut.
To cook the prawns, fill a wok with approximately 100ml of vegetable oil and pre-heat over a medium heat to 180°C. Deep-fry the prawns for 5 minutes until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with sweet chilli sauce.
Lisa's tip: This is great for a party. You can pre-batter the king prawns in advance and freeze them until needed. When the party starts, deep-fry the prawns. Once deep-fried, the prawns cannot be frozen.