It is funny what can make you feel happy. I just found myself thinking: finally, finally it is cold, grey and rainy again – how fabulous that the weather is so dismal and I am so tired, that I want to stay inside, sit behind my laptop and finally write a post again. :-)
The summer has been filled with long sunny days that were just too short for cooking extensive meals. Therefore the last weeks have been all about quick and easy dinners fixes. This dish has been one of my favourite discoveries: a simple silky omelette with plump and juicy prawns. The flavours are a combination of the saltiness of soy sauce and the delicate garlic of chives. It makes a lovely lunch dish or a light dinner with some fried rice and steamed paksoi.
I came across this Asian dish in the most roundabout way. It all started with a visit to Spain earlier this year and a day trip to Gibraltar. On a lunch menu full of rich and heavy dishes, the “Prawn Omelette” caught my eye. The combination made so much sense. There I was looking forward to a delicate fluffy omelette, when my plate arrived piled high with these odd crispy fritters. Unfortunately they were greasy and lacked favour, but they had caught my imagination.
I discovered that Tortitas de Camarones, shrimp pancakes, are a specialty of Andalucía. They are made from an egg-less batter of (part) chickpea flour and of course shrimp. Once home I almost became obsessed with turning, what sounded like a winning combination of ingredients, into a tasty dish. Obstinate as I am, I tried (and failed) over and over again. When I was mean with the oil the results was rubbery, almost slimy. When I gave in and cooked the fritters in generous amounts of oil, the texture was lovely, but the fritters were sickly greasy.
As I was about to make another experimental batch when my eye fell on the beautiful plump prawns I had bought (a variation on the tiny shrimp I had been using until then, in the hope it would improe things). And I realized I just didn’t have the heart to waste these beauties on another failed dish. So instead I decided to make the omelette that I would have wanted to have been served that day. Simple and plain but so satisfyingly delicate.
(based on ‘Wokking Mum‘)
1 tsp shaoxing rice wine (or dry pale sherry or at a pinch some vermouth or sake, use a little less)
1/4 tsp tapioca- or corn starch
6 large prawns
1 small tomato
1 spring onion
1/2 tbsp tapioca- or corn starch
2 tbsp milk or chicken stock or water
1 tsp soy sauce
optional: a few drops of sesame oil
optional: oyster sauce
- Combine the rice wine with the starch and mix until smooth.
- Add the salt, pepper and prawns. Refrigerate until ready to use. .
- Skin the tomatoes (bring a small pot of water to the boil. Cut a cross into the skin of the tomato. Briefly drop into the hot water. Remove and skin.)
- Dice the tomato. If it is very juicy you might want to discard the seeds.
- Chop the spring onion.
- If using, heat a little oil small pan. Fry the prawns until 80% cooked. Remove from the pan.
- Combine the starch with the milk, stock or water and mix until smooth.
- Whisk in the two eggs.
- Season with soy sauce, sesame oil (optional), salt and pepper.
- Add the tomato, spring onion and prawns to the egg mix.
- Pour the mixture back into the pan.
- Reduce the heat and cook until the egg is 90% set.
- Chop the chives.
- Plate and sprinkle with chives and oyster sauce, if using.
Tips & Variations
After you have cooked the prawns add some thinly sliced onions and/or bean sprouts to your pan
Fried rice and paksoi or sugar snaps