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Sesame Prawn (Shrimp) Toasts

These small toasts are easy to prepare and are one of the most popular Chinese appetizers.

Serves 4

225g/8 oz cooked peeled prawns (shrimp)
1 spring onion (scallion)
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
1 egg white, beaten
3 thin slices white bread, crusts removed
4 tbsp sesame seeds
vegetable oil, for deep-frying


1. Put the prawns (shrimp) and spring onion (scallion) in a food processor and process until finely minced (ground) or chop very finely by hand. Stir in the salt, soy sauce, cornflour (cornstarch) and egg white.
2. Spread the prawn (shrimp) mixture on to one side of each slice of bread
3. Spread the sesame seeds on top of the prawn (shrimp) mixture on each slice of bread, pressing firmly.
4. Cut each slice into four equal triangles or strips.
5. Heat the oil for deep-frying in a wok until almost smoking. Carefully place the triangles in the oil, coated side down, and cook for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper (paper towels). Serve hot.

Cook’s tip’s.

This is even better if you can obtain raw prawns (shrimp), as the cooked ones sometimes tend to become detached from the toasts.

Fry the triangles in two batches, keeping them warm, to prevent them from sticking together and overcooking
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Smoked Fishe Chowder

Smoked Fish Chowder

5 oz Butter
1 onion sliced.
2 potatoes diced
450g smoked haddock or cod, skinned and cut into large chunks
1 bay leaf
275 ml milk
200g tin of sweet-corn drained
2 tablespoons chopped parsley.


1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and fry for 5 minutes or until slightly softened, stirring often.
2. Add the potatoes and stir well to coat with butter, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
3. Add the fish, bay leaf, milk and 275 ml water, increase the heat to medium and bring to the boil, then replace the lid and lower the heat. Simmer gently for 15 minutes or until the fish is cooked and the potatoes are tender, stirring now and then.
Add the sweet corn to the chowder and simmer for 2-3 minutes to heat through. Remove the bay leaf and serve hot, sprinkle with the parsley


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Stir-Fried Prawns (Shrimp) & Vegetables

Stir-Fried Prawns (Shrimp) & Vegetables

This colourful and delicious dish is cooked with vegetables. Vary them according to seasonal availability.

Serves 4.

50g/1 ¾ oz mangetout (snow peas)
½ small carrot, thinly sliced lengthways
50 g/1 ¾ oz baby corn cobs
50 g/1 ¾ oz straw mushrooms
175-225 g/6-8 oz raw tiger prawns (jumbo shrimp), peeled and deveined
½ egg white, beaten lightly
1 tsp Cornflour (Cornstarch) paste
about 300 ml/ ½ pint/1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
1 spring onion (scallion), cut into short sections
4 slices fresh ginger root, finely chopped
½ tsp caster (superfine) sugar
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1tsp Chines rice wine or dry sherry
a few drops of sesame oil


1. Top and tail the mangetout (snow peas). Cut the carrot into slices the same size as the mangetouts (snow peas). Halve the baby corn cobs and straw mushrooms.
2. Mix the prawns (shrimp) with a pinch of salt, the egg white and cornflour (cornstarch) paste.
3. Heat the oil in a preheated wok. Add the prawns (shrimp), stirring to separate them. Stir-fry and remove from the wok with a slotted spoon as soon as their colour changes.
4. Pour off the oil, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the wok. Add the mangetouts (snow peas), carrot, baby corn, mushrooms, spring onion (scallion) and ginger root. Stir-fry for about 1 minute.
5. Return the prawns (shrimp) to the wok and add the sugar, soy sauce and Chinese rice wine or dry sherry. Blend well. Sprinkle with the sesame oil, transfer to a warm serving dish and serve immediately.


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Sweetcorn (corn) & Crabmeat Soup

Sweetcorn (corn) & Crabmeat Soup

You should use American-style creamed sweetcorn (corn) for this soup since it originated among the Chinese community in the United States. Chicken can be used instead of the crabmeat.

Serves 4

115g/4 oz crabmeat, or cooked chicken breast
¼ tsp finely chopped fresh ginger root
2 egg whites
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp Cornflour (Cornstarch) paste
600 ml/1 pint/2 ½ cups Chinese Stock
225g/8oz can American-style creamed sweetcorn (corn)
salt and pepper
finely chopped spring onions (scallions), to garnish


1. Flake the crabmeat ( or coarsely chop the chicken breast) and mix with the ginger.
2. Beat the egg whites until frothy, add the milk and cornflour (cornstarch) paste and beat again until smooth. Blend in the crabmeat or chicken.
3. Put the stock in a wok or large frying pan (skillet) and bring the stock to the boil. Add the creamed sweetcorn (corn), bring back to the boil and lower the heat.
4. Stir in the crabmeat or chicken pieces and egg-white mixture, adjust the seasoning and stir gently until the mixture is thoroughly blended. Ladle into warm individual soup bowls, garnish with chopped spring onions (scallions) and serve immediately.


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Szechuan Prawns (Shrimp)

Szechuan Prawns (Shrimp)

This spicy dish would make an excellent light main course. Serve with rice or noodles and a leafy green salad.

Serves 4.
225-300g/8-10 ½ oz raw tiger prawns (jumbo shrimp)
pinch of salt
½ egg white, lightly beaten
1tsp cornflour (cornstarch) paste
600 ml/1 pint/2 ½ cups vegetable oil
fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, to garnish

1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger root
2 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2-4 small dried red chillies, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 tbsp tomato puree (paste)
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2-3 tbsp Chinese Stock or water
a few drops of sesame oil


1. Peel and de-vein the prawns (shrimp), then mix with the salt, egg white and cornflour (cornstarch) paste until coated all over.
2. Heat the oil in a preheated wok until it is smoking, then deep-fry the prawns (shrimp) for about 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper (paper towels).
3. Pour off the oil, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the wok. Add all the ingredients for the sauce, bring to the boil and stir until smooth and thoroughly blended.
4. Add the prawns (shrimp) to the sauce, stirring to blend. Garnish with coriander (cilantro) leaves and serve.

Cook’s Tip

If raw prawns are not available, omit steps 1 and 2 and add the cooked prawns before the sauce in step 3.

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