Singapore’s most famous dish is undoubtedly the Chili Crab and the Black Pepper Prawns. When you walk down Clark Quay or Boat Quay you will find innumerable restaurants and street café’s serving up these super fiery dishes. The Chili crab is generally made with huge Sri Lankan crabs. If you put both your palms together, the crab will probably be larger than that! I’ve spent quite a bit of money on many many nights in Singapore digging into these critters! Another one of my favorites is the Black Pepper Prawns – buttery, peppery, hot awesomeness! They generally use Tiger Prawns for this with the tails (and sometimes the head on.) You yank the head off and start slurping down the sauce and the prawn meat, then finish by digging out whatever else in left in the tail. At the end of the night you have steam coming out of your ears and are sticking your tongue out and downing litres of beer but you can’t stop smiling, because it was so awesome! So here’s my little imitation black pepper prawns. I used medium prawns with the head and tail off. I cooked them skewered on a bamboo stick. This way it makes for an excellent appetizer or cocktail snack. Don’t expect your guests to behave themselves and eat just one skewer… they are irresistible!
Singapore Black Pepper Prawns on a Stick
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
What you need:
250 gms cleaned Prawns / 500 gms Prawns with the head and Tail on
¼ cup whole black peppercorns, ground
1 Tablespoons Vegetable/ Sunflower/ Peanut oil
30 gms / 2 Tbsp Butter
10 cloves Garlic, peeled and chopped
1 ½ inch fresh Ginger, peeled and sliced thin
2 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
¼ cup water
Coriander leaves to garnish
What to do:
In a small skillet, toast the black pepper for a minute till fragrant. Remove and set aside. Grind roughly with a mortar and pestle till sandy but not fine. Wash and clean the prawns. Now skewer about 4-5 on a bamboo skewer. I do this to ensure even cooking of the prawns.
In a large wok, heat the oil. When hot, add prawns and fry till prawns turn bright red. About 2 mins on each side. They need not be cooked through. Turn down heat and remove prawns from the wok. Now, reheat the wok on medium high and add the butter. When the butter begins to bubble, add the minced garlic and sliced ginger. Fry till fragrant, about 2 minutes. Now quickly add the oyster sauce, soy sauces and water. Bring to a boil. When it comes to a boil, add in the black pepper, stir to mix. Now add in the prawns and toss to coat well. Cover and steam for two mins. Black pepper prawns ready to wow!
P.S. The black pepper compliments the sweetness of the prawns very well. It’s not so much fiery and scalding the tongue hot as much as the heat from the pepper making the back of the throat go ka-boom! Enjoy… I sure did!