I have never been a big fan of Violet Oon, but I've been a recent convert. Trying out a new recipe is always a hit and miss (e.g. my failed attempt at otak). I remember seeing Violet Oon on Food Network years ago making Chili Prawns. I was skeptical at first, but decided to try it because I had all the ingredients she required (as opposed to other more complicated recipes). It actually turned out pretty darn good. I added some fishballs for more volume.
1 cup water
5 tablespoons tomato catsup
1 1/2 to 3 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons corn flour
1 teaspoon pounded brown preserved soya beans or dark miso (optional)
1/4 teaspoons salt
1 pound large, whole prawns (unshelled)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
8 fresh red chiles, roughly chopped
2 scallions, cut into finger lengths
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
1 small bunch cilantro, cut into 1-inch long pieces
Serving Suggestions: loaf of French bread
Make the Sauce: Whisk together all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Make the Prawns: Cut down the backs of the prawns and remove the black intestinal vein. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a wok or shallow saucepan over high heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the chiles and stir-fry for another minute. Add the prawns and stir-fry until the shell turn slightly red, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sauce and stir-fry until the shells turn red.
Break the egg into the wok and, using a fork, streak the egg through the sauce (this is an important step, as the egg has to be in beautiful gold and white streaks). Simmer the sauce for a few seconds and remove from the heat. Stir in the scallions and lime juice.