The Chinese culture is most particular about celebrating auspiciousness. For a happy occasion like the Chinese New Year that celebrates a new beginning, we are even more mindful about surrounding ourselves with auspicious symbols. When I was young, we were not allowed to sweep the floor on New Year's Day, for fear that we would be sweeping all the good luck away. Almost all the dishes and food we serve during the festival have been given a clever twist to evoke an aura of good luck and prosperity.
Fish, for example is a favourite dish to serve during Chinese New Year meals because to have fish can also be interpreted to be as having surplus.We are generally not allowed to finish all the food served during our reunion dinner on New Year's Eve... it is bad luck to have an empty rice pot on New Year's Day. The pineapple tart, due to the way it is pronounced in Chinese is made to sound like the arrival of prosperity and success, hence its popularity.
Prawn dishes are also popular during Chinese New Year because these little crustaceans are pronounced as 'Har' in cantonese which can be construed to sound like laughter (hahaha) symbolising happiness in abundance....
Battered fried prawns may be deep fried and laden with calories and cholesterol but they are still popular among young and old. I am giving this a little Spanish tapas twist by pairing it with a tangy homemade Lemon Mayonnaise. Served wrapped with lettuce, it makes this a little less guilty to indulge... This is an egg white,beer laden batter which is crispy and light. If you are looking for a interesting way to serve your Happy Prawns this year, I encourage you to give this a try.
Crispy Golden Prawns With Lemon Mayonnaise
1.0kg Medium sized prawns (Grey tiger prawns is fine)
Oil for deep frying
1 tsp Chicken Powder
2/3 tsp Salt
2/3 tsp Sugar
Dash Sesame Oil
1 tbsp Potato Starch
85g Plain flour
125ml Light beer
2 tbsp Olive oil
2 Egg white
4 Garlic cloves
2 Egg yolks
1tbsp Lemon juice
1tbsp Finely grated lemon zest
300ml Sunflower / Canola or grapseed oil (neutral oil)
Pinch Sea salt & pepper
1. Transfer garlic to food processor and add the egg yolks, lemon juice and lemon zest. Process briefly until just blended. With the motor still running, gradually add the sunflower oil through the feeder tube until it is emulsified.
You can either serve the mayonnaise in a dipping bowl or drizzle over the prawns like the way I did for mine.
1. Wash and devein prawns and marinate in Seasoning (A) for 5-10mins.
2. Mix all the ingredients for the batter together and let set it aside for 5- 10mins.
3. Heat frying oil until hot.
4. Coat the marinated prawns in the batter and deep fry until the prawn turns golden yellow.
5. With a slotted spoon, remove prawns from oil and let it blot on oil absorbant paper to remove excess oil.
6. Serve with mayonnaise and lettuce.