Friday, February 19, 2010

Sweet & Sour Prawn Stir Fry

Photo of Sweet & Sour Prawn Stir Fry

Have you met my friend S.Tirfry? S is  a very versatile lady - you can dress her up or down, make her asian, spicy, vegetarian or fishy. Best of all, once all the chopping is done, you can whip up a nutritious meal in a matter of mere minutes. S is a clever lady indeed!

Now I've made quite a few chicken stirfries and beef stirfries and even vegetable-only stirfries, but never tried my hand at a seafood stirfry. Truth be told, I'm a little bit scared of seafood. I assume it's because we didn't grow up eating a lot of seafood, so whenever I'm confronted with a whole fish in the supermarket, I swiftly turn the other way. 

I've tried being brave - using crabmeat in a pita for example, or making a spicy calamari stew (not blogged, but delicious!), I've even bbq'ed some prawn skewers. But to add it to something I already know and love? That seemed a bit risky. What if it completely screwed up the taste of the stirfry? Turned it into a big pot of yuck? The opportunities for disaster seemed endless. But, my logical side reasoned - what if it turned out tremendously tasty? And you missed out on the awesome flavour because you were a scaredy-cat? That would be tragic.

And so, without further hesitation (okay there was a little bit of hesitation) I plunged ahead and came up with this: Sweet & Sour Prawn Stirfry. Was it good? Hell yeah. Would I make it again? Come on look at that photo again - do you even need to ask? Seafood-cautious hubby also gobbled it up which is testament to it's success. The sweet and sour sauce with just a bit of chilli complemented the prawns perfectly, as did the pineapple.

Special thanks goes to Danie for his impromptu photography lesson on Wednesday - I think it paid off handsomely! And if there are any South African brides-to-be reading this: go check out the supremely talented Danie's portfolio - he will ensure that your special day is perfectly framed. (Full disclosure: Danie did not pay or even ask me to say this)

Sweet & Sour Prawn Stirfry
Serves 4

500g frozen prawns
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 red bellpepper, cubed
120g mangetout, halved
1 fresh pineapple, sliced
1/2 tsp minced garlic
3/4 tsp ground ginger
3 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 - 1 tsp dried chilli flakes (depending on your taste)

1. Defrost prawns under cold running water in a colander. Let rest while continuing with the rest of the stirfry.
2. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a wok over high heat, add the onions and fry for 2 - 3 minutes, then add the bellpepper. Stir fry for 3 - 4 minutes, then add the mangetout and fry another minute. Remove from wok and set aside.
3. Using half the remaining oil, add the prawns to the wok and stir fry over high heat for a few minutes until cooked through. Prawns should be light pink and start to brown a little bit on the undersides. Remove from the wok and set aside.
4. Add the remaining oil to the wok, heat again over medium heat, then add the ginger, garlic, honey, soy sauce, lemon juice and chilli flakes. Cook for a few minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Add back the vegetables and prawns and cook, stirring for a minute or so until evenly coated. Serve immediately with freshly steamed rice.


Danie on February 19, 2010 1:49 pm said...

Damn! Leave the pots and start doing photography! I wanted to see how you're doing after my tips. I'm amazed!

I absolutely love the first pic. Good lighting, excellent composition, very creative using the chopsticks at the top third [ I'll tell you about the rule of thirds later :)]

The second pic is also good; cutting "hard" both the stirfry and the rice. Composition is such that the main subject, the stirfry, stays the main focus, but yet your eyes are led to the secondary subject, the rice, as well. [I will teach you to play with depth of focus as well]

Great job with the pics!! And oh...yes...the stirfry sounds heavenly :)

Joanne on February 19, 2010 2:30 pm said...

I can definitely see an improvement in the photos! They look amazing.

And this dish - awesome. I love the way you started out this post. Gave me a good laugh. Stir fries are the best!

Marisa on February 19, 2010 3:20 pm said...

Thanks Joanne! Appreciate your kind words. And for Danie - I'm definitely booking more lessons. I want MOAR. :-)

Ed Schenk on February 19, 2010 5:39 pm said...

The photos look great and so does the stir fry!

Border Jumpers on February 19, 2010 10:34 pm said...

Want to flag (feel free to re-post) an opinion-editorial I co-wrote visiting the World Vegetable Center in Arusha, Tanzania with their director Abdou Tenkouano published today in the Kansas City Star. I am currently in Madagascar, traveling across Africa for the Worldwatch Insitute and blogging everyday on a site called "Nourishing the Planet" []. I pasted the article below. All the best, Danielle Nierenberg (

Cultivating food security in Africa, Kansas City Star

Yum Yucky on February 22, 2010 5:17 pm said...

Excuse me, but I'm still greedy-staring at the picture. That is my official comment.

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