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Butter prawns (Nai yow ha)


You'll need

500 gm medium green prawns For frying: vegetable oil 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten 90 gm butter, coarsely chopped 50 curry leaves 5-12 small red chillies, coarsely chopped 1 clove garlic, finely chopped ½ tsp light soy sauce 30 gm desiccated coconut, toasted 2-3 tsp white sugar, to taste

Method

  • 01
  • Season prawns with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
  • 02
  • Heat 5cm of oil in a wok over medium-high heat, add prawns and fry, in batches, for 2 minutes or until just cooked. Remove and drain on absorbent paper.
  • 03
  • In a clean wok heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Add a pinch of salt to yolks, add to wok and stir briskly with a fork to form strands. Remove.
  • 04
  • Melt butter in wok over medium-high heat and fry curry leaves for 10 seconds, then add chilli and garlic, fry for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add prawns, soy sauce and coconut, cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add egg and sugar and toss. Season and serve immediately.

This is a signature dish but no one knows precisely when it was created. Most Malaysian food writers believe it originated in a Chinese restaurant in Johor nearly 20 years ago and there are now several versions. Combining Malay, Chinese, Indian and western ingredients, as well as Chinese cooking techniques, this is a delicious example of a truly Malaysian dish.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

A really ripe, tropical-fruity verdelho.

Featured in

Apr 2007

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