My hubby says that all Singaporeans have an obsession with pepper. He had noticed this to be true at a dinner with my family back in Singapore when we were there in May this year. We were all enjoying a delicious dinner at a famous chinese (hokkien cuisine) restaurant called Beng Hiang and they had amazing fish maw soup. Being the ‘outsider’ looking in, he noticed that every single one of us at the table were dumping generous amounts of pepper in our soup, along with lashings of red vinegar. All except him. And now he just makes sweeping statements about Singaporeans and pepper. But I do think it’s just me, well…and maybe my family.
When it comes to a dish that is the epitome of pepperiness (is there such a word?) there is none other than Black Pepper Prawns. This popular Singapore seafood dish (usually cooked with crab) is second to the more famous chilli crab. Colonel Sanders thought only his chicken is finger lickin’ good? Nah-ah! Get your fingers dirty and enjoy the addictive dark brown pepper sauce that coats the prawns. The natural sweetness of the prawns along with the spicy and salty sauce is a killer combination. It’s a really simple sauce too which was a surprise when I was looking for a recipe to follow.
It’s great as a dish served with rice and a side of stir fried veggies, or as finger food to go with beer or wine. I cooked this while non-pepper fan hubby was away and ate it on its own washed down with a glass of pinot gris. Ahhh…the things I get up to when the hubs is away.
Not the healthiest dish but life is too short. Just eat.
BLACK PEPPER PRAWNS
Adapted from GroupRecipes
10-12 large prawns, shells on
A knob of butter
1/2 tbsp of ginger, grated
1/2 tbsp of garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
a splash of chinese cooking wine
a splash of light soy sauce
1 tbsp black peppercorns, cracked / crushed
In a hot work, heat up some cooking oil and stir fry the prawns until just cooked.
Drain the oil, and in the same wok, add the butter, ginger and garlic. Fry till slightly brown and fragrant. Add the sauces, wine and peppercorns and mix well. Return the cooked prawns to the wok and stir to coat the prawns.
Cover the work for about a minute to let the prawns and sauce infuse. All done! Serve, eat and lick those fingers clean.