Sunday, May 31, 2009

Prawns With Broccoli and Pine Nuts

For the last few months, I'd been eating quite a lot of seafood even when I travelled, I never missed tasting seafood specials of the regions. Of course, prices are hefty compared to my hometown - well, no fret I'll be back and ready to have seafood spree -actually the fishmongers are happy to see me, you know :-D They even remembered when was the last time I patronised their stalls :-P

I think there will be more meat and vegetables recipes coming (seafood is 'errhmmm' in Europe you know...) There's one scene I wanted to tell... any country I went, my first visit would be their fresh markets. I love the hustle and bustle of the local life, far away from tourists (except me of course :-D ) and sometimes, you may find odd food or specialty of the season amongst the vans, trucks and carts. The scene, I mentioned earlier was the first time I'm in Europe, I was shocked to see pre-cooked crabs and crevettes grises on display in baskets, trays and crates :-D I'm used to see 'live' crabs in tanks or ponds ready for selection and cook to your specifications. Well, except Flower Crabs and Blue Swimmers, other crabs are kept alive until further notice! What I can say is, today I'm a huge fan of Crevettes Grises! They are yummylicious and I always reserved the peeled shells and heads as stock for soups, stir-fries, steamed seafood, noodles... etc.

Looks like my next seafood tryout is going to be the cooked crabs but judging by the size and weight, it's going to pinch my purse soon :-D Anyway, I'm not doing fish... yet but here's a yummy recipe that may take sometime to cook but I love the results. It's like eating 2 flavours in one dish! Most important thing... mise en place... ingredients within reach, very hot wok or pan and fast stir-frying. Lots of handwork involved but all of us can do it! Serve this dish hot with steamed rice or made extra gravy, ladle on top yellow noodles. ramen or egg noodles as a delicious side dish to your main meal!

Prawns with Broccoli and Pine Nuts
Serves 2

25 g Pine Nuts
150 g Broccoli
150 g Prawns
1/2 pc Carrot
2 slices Ginger
1 Tbl Ginger wine
Some boiling water for scalding the vegetables

Marinade for Prawns:
1/8 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cornflour
1 tsp Oil

Seasoning for Broccoli:
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
3 Tbl Water
3/4 tsp Cornflour

Sauce (Gravy) Mix:
3 Tbl Water
1/8 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Sesame Oil
1/2 tsp Cornflour

1. Rub the pine nuts with clean damp cloth. Let them dry and toast the nuts until fragrant and golden. Set aside. It's important to stir the pine nuts constantly to avoid burnt. You can also bake the nuts in oven at 120 ºC for 10 to 12 minutes until golden. I used fan to have even roasting.
2. Wash and cut the broccoli into small florets. Slice the carrot into rounds or any shapes you fancy (for this recipe, I shaped the carrots into flower and sliced them about 2mm thick, to maintain the shape of the design). Set aside.
3. In a small pot/pan, heat some water to a rolling boil. Scald the broccoli florets and carrot for about 1 minute. Drain immediately and set aside.
4. Shelled and devein the prawns. Rinse and pat dry. Marinate for about 5 minutes.
5. Heat some oil in a wok or deep pan. When it's really hot, add in the broccoli and stir-fry for while. Sizzle with ginger wine, the seasoning and mix well. Dish out in a serving plate. (Keep it warm with another plate on top if you prefer).
6. Wash your pan or wok with some water and heat it up again to high heat (to evaporate the water before adding oil to avoid splattering).
7. When the wok or pan is dry, add in some oil. When oil is hot and smoky, add in sliced ginger and stir-fry until fragrant. Add the marinated prawns and stir-fry quickly for few seconds. Add in the sliced carrots and the sauce/gravy mixture.
8. Mix well until the gravy thickens. Dish out on top of the cooked broccoli. Sprinkle some toasted pine nuts and serve.

If you can't find ready made Ginger Wine in your local Asian shops, you can try to make your own.

15 g old ginger - bruised or sliced into pieces
60 ml Rice Wine or Sake (please choose quality rice wine)

Add them together in a air tight jar and leave it to soak overnight before using. Strain the liquid as needed. This quantity will keep for several weeks, depends on how frequent you use in your cooking :-)

♪ ♥ Enjoy ♥♬


  1. Love pinenuts! Looks delicious!

  2. E ai cara, tudo bem @ Paula @ thecookieshopinenglish ~ thank you for visiting me. I love pine nuts too even though they are really expensive. I used to watch birds pecking the cones of pine tree outside my window. I wondered how this little treasures been collected for human consumption!

  3. Seafood like crab, prawns, lobsters etc are very expensive in Greece as well but I usually buy frozen prawms which are much cheaper. My children are not fond of broccoli so I don't cook it but I would gladly eat your dish.

  4. Hi Ivy ~ your children must been imagined broccoli as miniature trees. That's what my son said each time he saw broccoli because he saw on Sesame Street :-D

    Yes, seafood is expensive and lately, I'd tried some frozen seafood besides cheaper, it's fresh to my surprise. For that I had to make sure what's frozen inside is meat not water! I think it's all about the quality control enforced by the buyer and seller. You would be surprise how unscrupulous frozen companies are especially in 3rd world countries. You get frozen liquid more than the real food and nice looking pieces on top with broken pieces hidden beneath - that's what I got from a 250 g for 2.10 €. After drainage, I was left with less than 50 g of water diluted crab meat... Is not even 1 whole crab :-(

  5. We are very lucky here in Sydney. Pine nuts and fresh prawns are very cheap. I love the combinations and very good presentation. Will try to cook it this weekend.

  6. Wonderful flavours and textures! I love my seafood too but too bad I don't get to eat much here in the UK, it's really hard to get fresh seafood here.

  7. This dish is so colourful and nicely presented! Looks like those served in the 5-stars hotel. Simply gorgeous!

  8. Even before tucking in, the presentation is inviting.

  9. A beautiful, healthy, coloured and delicious combo!!!! I love all ingredients :D
    Thanks for commenting in my blog and letting me know yours this way ;D

  10. Hi Núria ~ thank you for visiting my blog and your encouraging comment!

  11. Hi Ellie ~ thank you for your comment. I really like the Hot Dog Maker... it's such a genius invention. I wonder who's the inventor.

  12. Hi Pigpig ~ I didn't know your area has same problem. Most common fishes I found in my area are mostly sole, flounder, crevettes grises, plie or North Sea species. Other than that it's from seasonal Mediterranean region like barr, rouget, rock fish, squid, etc which mostly available in supermarket. I bet you and I, as well other M'sians will 'attack' seafood when back for holidays, ya? :-D

  13. This presentation is super cute! It would be dangerous to serve it in this manner to my Dad though, as it makes it too easy for him to just scoop out all the prawns and leave only vegetables for the rest of us!

    (and thanks so much for commenting on my blog, I'm both very happy and very sorry to have made you hungry, hehe)


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