white pepper

Crispy peppery seafood stir fry

What I was thinking of was lovely crunchy deep fried prawns in a light batter ... and then what I was thinking was that I wanted something similar but also not deep fried.

Oh and ALSO what I was thinking was that usually those deep fried prawns have the batter around the shell - and I just don't like eating the shell plus I have a bit of a horror of un-de-veined prawns.

So the combination of prawns with veins in, and the shell on AND deep fried .... just wasn't going to work.

(OK ... when I say a 'horror' of not having de-veined prawns, if I'm throwing them in the food processor to make something like my prawn balls, then OF COURSE I don't de-vein them first, I just throw them in and mix with the other ingredients. I just don't like to SEE the vein. Just to clarify :) )

I tried this a couple of times and I was a bit too heavy-handed with the white pepper at first, but yesterday I got it right ... right being just how I like it ... and so I want to share.

I always have frozen seafood in the freezer as it means there's always going to be something good to eat and for this I decided I wanted a variety of seafood, not just prawns after all.

I have prawns, defrosted and de-veined. And I have squid - I much prefer the tubes of squid I can then score and cut into smaller pieces that roll up - but my online grocery shop delivered rings, so I kept them.  I also usually have beautiful big scallops - but again the grocery shop this time delivered these tiny ones and actually I'm a bit smitten with them.

While defrosting all the frozen seafood in a bowl of cold water, I made a little Vietnamese-style dipping sauce and cooked my rice as the cooking of the seafood itself is really quick.

Rachel Redlaw crispy peppery seafood
Rachel Redlaw crispy peppery seafood

I made an easy little kind-of-batter with:

2 tablespoons cornflour

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1/5-1 tsp (to your taste) ground white pepper

1-2 birds eye chillies (to your taste), very finely sliced (I prefer red, but the grocery shopping .... you get it)

Just mix it all together and when the seafood is defrosted and rinsed, tip into the batter and mix with your hands to cover the prawns, squid and scallops (or whatever you're using).

Then put a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, add some sprays of oil or pour a little oil to coat and when good and hot add the seafood.

It should sizzle immediately - so maybe try one piece to see if it's hot enough before tipping it all in.

Space it out so that nothing is on top of anything else and if there's extra batter add that on top of the seafood - it goes lovely and crisp.

Cook for about three minutes, turning a few times, until cooked and browned.

Rachel Redlaw crispy peppery seafood

And that's it!

Serve with the cooked rice and I like to top this with some sliced spring onion and chopped fresh coriander leaves.

Drizzle over some of the dipping sauce, pour a glass of something cold and good ... and eat.

This is now a favourite 'storecupboard' meal for me - I really love making 'something from nothing - when it looks like there's nothing in the cupboards or fridge and then I can make something as quick and easy - and delicious as this!