Szechuan Dry-braised Prawns with Broccoli ►
Tender-crisp bright green broccoli florets surround a mound of marinated, seared pink prawns. The sauce, made in the prawn pan, is flavored with cloves, ginger, chili paste, soy sauce, rice wine, and oyster sauce.
- Medium-Size Prawns - 1 pound (20 to 30 count)
- Salt - pinch
- White Pepper - pinch of freshly ground
- Egg Whites - 1
- Cornstarch - 1 tablespoon
- Water - 6 cups
- Broccoli Florets - 1-1/2 pounds, trimmed and separated
- Vegetable Oil - 2 cups, for blanching
- Yellow Onion - 1/2 small, minced
- Garlic Cloves - 4, minced
- Ginger - 4 to 5 slices, fresh, minced
- Chili Paste - 1 teaspoon
- Catsup - 1/2 cup
- Soy Sauce - 1/2 tablespoon
- Sugar - 1 tablespoon
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Rice Wine - 2 tablespoons (alt. dry sherry)
- Oyster-Flavored Sauce - 1 tablespoon
- Green Onions - 1/4 cup chopped
- Sesame Oil - 1 teaspoon
Shell and devein the prawns, leaving tails attached. Rinse and pat dry. Combine the marinade ingredients with the prawns in the order listed. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Heat 6 cups water to a boil in a large pot. Add the broccoli florets and bring water to a boil again. Cook the broccoli for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes, until bright green and crisp-tender. Remove the broccoli and drain. Place the florets in a circle around the edge of the serving platter with the heads pointing outwards.
Set a wok over high heat for about 1 minute. Add 2 cups oil and heat to 325 F. Add the prawns, stirring gently to separate. Blanch until pink and a light crust is formed, about 30 to 40 seconds. Remove the prawns and drain. Do not crowd the pan; blanch in batches if necessary.
Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the oil from the wok. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger, and brown very slightly. Stir in the chili paste (adjust amount, depending on how hot you like your seasoning) and cook until fragrant. Mix in the catsup, soy sauce, sugar, and salt. Stir in the rice wine, oyster sauce, and prawns. Braise over high heat until the sauce is reduced. Stir in the green onion and sesame oil. Mound prawns in the center of the broccoli-edged platter and serve.