Both my sisters are seafood fanatic, especially crab and prawns. They can both eat 4kg worth of crab, prawns and shellfish in a sitting. We Chinese love steaming our seafood, and believe that steaming is probably the ‘best’ way to enjoy most seafood in all its’ natural ‘sweetness. Steaming is not only easy, it is also a very healthy cooking technique. This Steamed Garlic Prawns is my elder sister CM’s go-to prawn recipe.
The sheer simplicity of preparation will blow your mind away with an simple yet flavourful prawn dish. Make minced garlic oil, pour the garlic over the prawns and steam for 5 minutes. Sounds simple enough, right? The only catch – mincing garlic is a rather tedious task. Time to get out your chopper or food processor if you have one.
This dish should of course be served piping hot, preferably right from the stove top to the dining table. So I suggest that you steam this dish just before dinner is served as the prawns take such a short time to cook. Do remember to avoid overcooking the prawns as there is really nothing that can be done to rescue rubbery, overcooked prawns. Check on the doneness of the prawns at 5 minutes, if the flesh still looks translucent, steam for another 1-2 minutes.
- With a pair of sharp kitchen scissors, remove the whiskers and the legs. Gently butterfly the prawns with scissors and remove the veins. Be careful not to cut too deep to avoid cutting the prawn into half. Place the prawns on a heat proof deep dish plate.
- Place minced garlic in a small heat proof bowl. Heat up a small pot with vegetable oil until it starts to smoke. Pour heated oil over the garlic, it will make a crackle sound. Be careful when handling the pot with hot oil.
- While waiting for garlic to cool down, place a steam rack inside a large work or pot, fill with water, and bring it to rapid boil. .
- Spoon garlic and oil into each prawn or just on top of prawns.
- Place the prawns and steam for about 5-8 minutes. Remember to check at the 5 minute mark for doneness to avoid overcooked prawns.
- Mix soy sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl. Spoon sauce over cooked prawns, garnish with green onions if using and serve immediately.