Sweet & Sour Prawns in Batter

Serves 2 People

This is a Singapore style sweet & sour, rather than a classic Chinese version, because it has a tomato based sauce.

The recipe can be used with any other meat or fish. With meat, especially poultry, chop & cook it before making the meat-balls, to avoid food poisoning.

The Prawn Balls

  1. Prepare the batter by mixing about 4 ounces of plain flour, a generous pinch of 5 spice powder, about ¼ of a level teaspoon of salt, & 1 heaped teaspoon of baking powder. Add water, a little at a time, and stir in thoroughly until the batter is the right consistency to coat the prawns (gooey, not runny).
  2. Take 1 pint of prawns (if they are frozen, allow them to defrost first - you can speed this with hot water). Place a few prawns at a time into the batter, and stir around until they are coated well.
  3. Deep fry the prawn balls in hot oil, until golden brown. Once cooked, they can be kept warm in the oven while you cook the rest of the prawns, and the sauce.

The Sauce

  1. Slice 1 sweet pepper (paprika/capsicum) into small pieces. Very finely slice & chop 1 large onion.
  2. Fry the ingredients in a wok or saucepan on a high heat, in about 2 tablespoons of oil.
  3. When the onion begins to go transparent, reduce the heat.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce, 1 heaped tablespoon of brown sugar (or you can use honey, syrup, or molasses/black-treacle), and 2 to 3 tablespoons of wine vinegar to the wok, and stir frequently.
  5. After about 2 minutes, taste the sauce, and if necessary adjust the flavour to suit your taste by adding more sugar and/or vinegar.
  6. Put a level tablespoon of corn-flour (maize-flour/corn-starch) in a cup. Add and mix in enough sherry, plum wine or water to make a thick paste. Add more liquid, to make up to half a cup.
  7. Add the corn-flour & sherry mixture to the wok, stirring in continuously until it thickens. Add more liquid if the sauce is too thick.
  8. Serve the prawn balls on rice, with the sauce poured on top.