Tempura Prawn with Thai Curry Risotto

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Have I ever told you that I love spicy food? If I have, I still do not get tired to repeat it again and again. 😉 Beside my home cuisine, Sichuan cuisine, I also enjoy many spicy hot dishes from other countries such as Indian curry, Mexican chili etc. Thai curry is my absolute favorite among all these delicate dishes.  The combination of spicy curry paste and fruity coconut milk is so adorable! I just can’t get enough of it!

I love all kinds of Thai curry: yellow, green, red… My favorite ones are  without doubt the red curry and Masaman curry. Beside preparing Thai curry the popular way with meat and vegetables and serving with rice, I also love  to use it as a great sauce for my homemade spaghetti. Believe me, it is incredibly yummy! After the successful merger between Thai curry and Italian spaghetti, I dared to go a step further: Thai curry risotto!

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

I really love cooking risotto. OK, of course I also enjoy eating risotto. But if you would ask me whether I prefer cooking risotto or eating it, it might be a quite difficult question for me. You see, this shows how much I really enjoy cooking these tiny rice corns from Italy. I even enjoy the constant stirring with a wooden spoon in the pot so much, that I can totally forget the time and anything else. For me, cooking this is almost like a kind of meditation, pure relaxation! 🙂

Then this almost melodic sound, when a good portion of white wine is poured onto the shortly roasted risotto. You can de facto hear, how greedily all these tiny rice grains are absorbing the tasty wine and thereby conjuring a culinary choir. Apparently the wine has the same effect for both human and rice grains: both feel intoxicated and cannot help singing loudly. 😉

Furthermore, what kind of a seductive fruity and slightly sweet smell of the simmering wine and fried onions is raising to the nose, then occupying the whole kitchen, the whole house… a true moment of enjoyment for all senses!

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

For the preparation of Thai curry risotto I was following the traditional Italian method. A good white wine must not be missing. What would become of the lovely rice grain choir if there was no wine? 😉 At the end of the cooking process right when the rice grains were getting al dent, I added the previously prepared Masaman curry sauce to the rice and let the spicy curry flavor fully integrate into the risotto.

Now I have one more favorite recipe for cooking risotto. This Thai curry risotto will be definitly at the top of our menu. 🙂

© Qin Xie-Krieger

© Qin Xie-Krieger

Now let’s talk about the Tempura prawns. I got to know this tasty dish during my last trip to Japan. I love to have this crispy prawns with soba noodles (Japanese buckwheat noodles). For the last course of my five-courses dinner I planned this crispy fried prawns in a thin dough as the counterpart to the Thai curry risotto. For their crunchy texture is the optimum counterbalance to the creamy texture of the risotto. Furthermore, both present themselves as a great duo in their tastes. Seafood and Thai curry always match each other wonderfully! Since the risotto had already the aromatic and pleasantly sharp taste of Masaman curry, I skipped the traditional soy sauce, rice wine and fish stock for the tempura prawns. Otherwise the dominant flavor of soy sauce would have disturbed the harmony of this dish.

Isn’t it a great thing? Inside one single dish there are three countries hidden: Thailand, Italy and Japan! Even if at first sight it seems inconceivable to unite these so very different cuisines in one plate I was so happy to see the international culinary harmony work together successfully. 😉

Oh yea, how much fun was I having! 😀

Ingredients (4 servings):

For the risotto:

300g risotto rice
3 shallots (finely diced )
1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
1 carrot (finely diced)
A good dash of white wine
2 tbsp Masaman curry paste or red curry paste
1L hot chicken stock
200ml coconut milk
20g palm sugar
1 lemon grass
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
300g broad beans

For the tempura prawns:

12 king prawns with shell
Salt and pepper
3 tbsp tempura flour (Asia shop)
5 tbsp ice cold water
1 tbsp tempura flour extra
oil for deep frying

Preparation:

  1. Heat the oil in a pot on medium flame. Add the curry paste to it and fry until it smells nicely. Add the palm sugar and fry with the paste shortly together. Then pour the coconut milk and simmer for ca. 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Cut the beans into thin strips and add to the boiling water with a little salt, blanch for 3-5 minutes. Take the beans out of the water and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  3. Cut the onions into tiny cubes and press the garlic. Heat olive oil in skillet on medium flame. Add the onions and garlic, roast until glazed. Add the Risotto rice and stir until all the rice grains have absorbed the oil. Add the wine and stir until it is completely absorbed. Give a shot of hot broth and stir until it is fully absorbed by the rice grains, repeat this until the broth is used up. Meanwhile reheat the prepared curry sauce and add a scoop of it to the rice until it is completely absorbed. Then repeat this again until the rice is soft outside and in the core al dent. Cover the rice with a lid and set aside. Keep one scoop of curry sauce hot for the later usage.
  4. For the tempura prawn: Peel the prawns and remove the bowels. Season the prawns with salt and pepper, coat them a thin layer of the extra tempura flour. Mix the flour with the water. Bread the shrimps with it.
  5. Pour  generously oil into a sauce pan and heat until 180 degrees. Fry the prawns until golden brown, then drain on kitchen paper.
  6. Now pour the last scoop of hot curry sauce to the risotto and stir well.
  7. Serve the prawns with Thai curry risotto and the broad beans together .
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