A number of years ago, I had a severe allergic reaction. I still remember that day like it was yesterday. I broke out in hives, my tongue swelled up and we couldn’t find the entrance to the ER so we went to the children’s ER where I threw up on the floor. I was quite sad to leave the cheerful colourful children’s ER when they moved me to the regular ER. Bye Bye happy monkey, hello depressing fluorescent light. After a series of skin prick tests it was determined that I had developed an allergy to prawns. You might as well kill me! No more prawns?? Ever?? I couldn’t believe it so I didn’t.
I carried on eating prawns. After all, I had an Epi-pen with me now. I might as well test it out. Guess what? I never had to. I had two Epi-pens go pass their expiry dates and all that time I carried on eating prawns and shrimps. No reactions. Yay!! All is good again.
It’s weird though, because my hands get incredibly itchy whenever I peel prawns, both raw and cooked. They always have but I could always eat them without a problem, with the exception of that one time. And what’s weirder was that that one time when I did have a problem, I remember my hands not itching after peeling the prawns. Freaky. Must have been a bad batch.
I still do get nervous whenever I’m eating prawns and I’d watch the clock until an hour has passed without incident before I’d allow myself to relax again. Yes, it would be a lot easier if I had just stopped eating prawns. But have you tasted prawns?? It’s just not possible! This dish makes it all the more difficult.
My brother came to visit a couple years ago and we spent many evenings trying new recipes. Good times……. This is one we tried and tweaked together. The original is plenty tasty but we felt it needed a bit more of a kick. This recipe is also good with any kind of white fish. So yummy it’s pretty much the only reason I buy prawns. If you’re like my husband and don’t like to bite into whole Szechuan peppercorns, you can grind it up first. I hope you like it.
Szechuan Garlic Prawns
Adapted from Appetite for China
- 500 g tiger prawns, shelled and deveined
- 1/2 teaspoon szechuan peppercorn
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon XO sauce
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons chili oil
- 1 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons chinese rice wine
- In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, chili oil, sesame oil, wine and sugar and set aside.
- In a large pan, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Stir-fry the garlic, Szechuan pepper and XO sauce until fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute. Add the prawns and cook until both sides are pink, about a minute on each side.
- Add the sauce mixture and stir well to fully coated the prawns in the sauce. Allow to cook another 1-2 minutes until prawns are cooked through.
- Remove from the heat and garnish with chopped scallions. Serve with rice and vegetables.