Goong Makahm (Tamarind Prawns)
Lightly battered tiger prawns wok-tossed in a spiced tamarind sauce and served with crisped shallots and garlic
- For the prawns and garnish:
- 1 lb. large tiger prawns
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups vegetable or peanut oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 large shallot
- For the tamarind sauce:
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper diced
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce to taste
- 3 tablespoons tamarind juice
- 2-3 tablespoons palm sugar or regular sugar to taste
- 1-2 tablespoon hot Sriracha sauce depending on desired spiciness
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- For the prawns and garnish: Shell, devein, and butterfly the prawns. Gently pat the prawns with a towel to remove excess moisture, then dredge them in the flour.
- In a large, high-sided pan or wok, heat enough oil for prawns to be fully submerged for deep-frying. When the oil reaches 365 degrees, add the floured prawns and deep-fry them until evenly golden and crisped.
- Remove the prawns from the oil and set them on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Set aside.
- Thinly slice garlic and shallots and deep-fry until crisp and golden. Set aside for garnish.
- For the tamarind sauce: Discard the oil from the prawns. Put the wok over high heat and warm the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add the chopped garlic, yellow onions, and bell peppers. Reduce the heat to medium and add the tamarind juice, fish sauce, sugar, and Sriracha sauce. Let the sauce simmer until the sugar caramelizes.
- Toss the fried prawns with the tamarind sauce.
- To plate: Arrange the sauced prawns in a mound on the plate and top with the fried shallots, garlic, and fresh cilantro.
Serve the prawns accompanied with steamed jasmine rice or crab fried rice.
Riesling or Gewurztraminer will pair well with this spicy dish.