Love prawns? Love Japanese? This is for you. Read on for the recipe for restaurant Saké’s Popcorn Shrimp. Created by the restaurant’s executive chef Shaun Presland, it’s a dish with a loyal following and deservedly so.
By Pepper Passport
If there’s one prawn dish (aside from when they’re eaten fresh off the trawler) that really gets us going/excited/drooling, it’s a plate of Saké’s Popcorn Shrimp.
Why so? Just picture it. Little bite sized pieces of gorgeously fresh prawn meat, lightly fried tempura style, before coated in a little chilli spiked Japanese mayonnaise? Yep. It doesn’t get better than that.
And evidently the proof is those plates piled high with prawns (or shrimp), with Saké sending out plate upon plate of the dish in each of their three restaurants every service.
A big thanks to Saké’s Executive Chef Shaun Presland for this one.
- 500G PRAWN MEAT
- 250G TEMPURA FLOUR (STORE BOUGHT, JAPANESE OR KOREAN)
- 60G MESCULIN SALAD MIX (MIXED SALAD LEAVES)
- 20G FRESH CHOPPED CHIVES
- VEGETABLE OIL FOR DEEP FRYING
- 75ML FRESH LEMON JUICE
- 100ML GRAPESEED OIL
- 40ML DARK SOY SAUCE
- 1 HEAPED TEASPOON GARLIC PASTE
- GOOD PINCH GROUND BLACK PEPPER
- 300G WHOLE EGG MAYONNAISE
- 50G CHILLI GARLIC PASTE
- 200G TEMPURA FLOUR
- 300ML COLD WATER
- Make a lemon vinaigrette by combining the lemon juice, grape seed oil, soy sauce, garlic paste and black pepper. Place aside.
- Combine the mayonnaise and chilli paste thoroughly, and then set aside.
- Mix 200g of the tempura flour with the cold water until it is the consistency of thickened cream.
- Shell, devein and cut prawns into 1.5 cm pieces
- Heat oil in deep fryer to 180C
- Lightly dust the prawns in the dry tempura flour (10g / serve) and shake off excess flour through a sieve. Coat dusted prawn pieces in cold tempura batter and fry at 180C until light popcorn colour. Because the pieces are small they will not need much time to cook. The pieces should come out with a lovely crunchy coating.
- Drain in fry basket and shake off any excess oil.
- Place 15g of salad mix in the bottom of a bowl and dress with the lemon dressing (only a little drizzle).
- Take prawns from fryer and toss in a large bowl with 20 – 30g of spicy mayonnaise so that they are evenly coated.
- Place prawns (like a little mountain!) on the top of the dressed salad bed and sprinkle with chopped chives to garnish.