Jaden's Talkative Notes for Malaysian Coconut Prawns with Cognac
See if you can find unsweetened grated or flaked coconut at the grocery store. If not, the Asian market will have something that looks like this:
Why they chose to use the word "Desiccated" stumps me. Such an ugly word! But hey, buying the grated coconut pre-packaged saves you from the horrors of this experience But let's just say your Asian market doesn't have "Desiccated Coconut" - just use sweetened coconut flakes. Make sure that you toast them in a non-stick skillet and watch your heat. The sugar burns quickly. Do not add the additional sugar in the recipe.
Ingredients:1 lb shrimp/prawns (yes, they are the same thing) - washed, deveined and patted really dry
2 stalks scallions, cut into 2" lengths
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons Cognac (Brandy or Rum make good substitutes)
1 teaspoon kosher salt (1/2 tsp table salt)
3/4 teaspoon sugar (omit sugar if you are using sweetened coconut flakes)
few whole small Thai bird chili (if you like very spicy, chop)
1/4 cup grated coconut (try to find unsweetened coconut, but sweetened will work just fine)
2 tablespoons butter
1. Toast the coconut: In a dry, nonstick skillet, toast the coconut until golden brown.
2. Fry the prawns: In a large saute pan or wok, heat 2T cooking oil on high heat. When smoking, add the prawns. Cook only half way. Timing depends on size of your prawns. When they just start to change color, remove and set aside.
3. Stir-fry: In same pan or wok, you should have some cooking oil left over. If not, add 1T. When hot, add the chili, scallions and garlic. Fry for 10 seconds until fragrant. Add Cognac, butter, salt, sugar. Reduce just a bit - you should have a nice sauce that will coat the prawns. Add the prawns back in the pan. Fry until prawns are cooked through. Again, timing depends on size of prawns. For small = 1 minute; medium = 1.5 minutes; large = 2 minutes; colossal= you prob have a personal chef. Turn off heat, add the toasted coconut and immediately serve.