Go to any good Sydney restaurant and you will find similar prawn recipes to this on the menu. Australia is known for its clean warm waters and wonderful fresh seafood, so we decided to do a stay-at-home crispy prawn recipe for those of you who can’t make it to ol’ Sydney town. And the amazing aioli takes just 15 seconds to whizz up!
- 500 g baby school prawns
- 1 tbsp Sichuan pepper
- 2 tsp white peppercorns
- ½ cup rice flour
- 2 tbsp flaked sea salt
- vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Coriander and lime aioli
- 2 free-range eggs
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 250 ml (1 cup) light olive oil
- 1 lime, juiced
- ½ cup coriander leaves
- 1 tsp salt flakes
- black pepper, to taste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make the coriander and lime aioli, combine all ingredients in a large jug. Using a stick blender, blend for 15 seconds or until thick. If the aioli is too thick add a little more lime juice or water to thin to dipping consistency. This makes approximately 1½ cups and will keep for 1 week in the fridge.
Place the whole, unshelled prawns into a colander and give them quick rinse in cold water, set aside and allow to drain.
Place the Sichuan pepper and peppercorns into a mortar and crush well with a pestle. Place the rice flour and half the salt in a large bowl and add half the crushed pepper, mixing well to combine. Combine the remaining crushed pepper with the remaining salt and set aside for serving. Toss the prawns in flour mixture to coat.
Heat oil in a wok over a medium heat. Test that the oil is hot enough by dipping the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil; it should sizzle if the oil is hot enough. Take a handful of the prawns from the flour and place into a sieve. Give it a quick shake to remove any excess flour and then carefully tip the prawns into the hot oil. Allow the prawns to cook for 2-3 minutes, depending on their size. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper. Repeat with remaining prawns until they are all cooked. While hot, sprinkle with the extra pepper and salt mixture.
Serve immediately with the coriander and lime aioli.
the food dept. fact
• Aioli is usually a time-consuming thing to make, but use a stick blender and it emulsifies the ingredients in seconds. This method won't work with a blender or food processor.
Photography by Petrina Tinslay, styling by David Morgan and art direction by Anne Marie Cummins.