Growing up I was not extremely fond of vegetables but over the years I have really grown to love them. A friend once said to me that if one can make veggies taste good then they must be a good cook lol! Hearing that I thought I really need to up my cooking game :P!
I came up with the idea for this recipe just as I was thawing my frozen mix veg (Yes I use those packs of mix vegetable because as much as I love cooking, I also like to be somewhat convenient and smart). This is very unlike me because I usually brainstorm a lot before I want to make something new to the point that I almost always end up changing the idea that I initially started with! That is just an extension of my over-enthusiastic emotion of FOMO- I am starting to think its some sort of disorder but lets not get into that now.
The recipe could not be simpler, even for the novice cooks out there! All you have to make sure is not to overcook anything including the prawns- this will literally take you 15 minutes on the stove. The difference between this recipe and a stir fry is the texture- I have used the sauces and spices to create a more juicy dish whereas a stir fry can sometimes be a bit on the dry and crunchier side. The chilli sauce and tomato puree are the big flavours and they sort of add a different element to the taste-the sauces take away the rawness from the vegetables and also balance the sweetness. The prawns marry so well with vegetables without being overpowering – the vegetables are definitely the main star of the dish.
Also, the best part about this recipe is that you can add vegetables of your choice and it does not have to be exactly what the recipe calls for but please do bear in mind that veggies have different cooking time. I would have personally loved to add broccoli to this if I had some!
What you need:
- 2 Cups of Frozen mix veg ( carrots, green beans, peas, sweet corn)
- ½ of 150g pack sugar snap peas (cut into halves)
- 1 red bell pepper (cut into squares)
- ½ cup of white prawn
- 1 onion (cut into chunks of quarters and then peel put each layer of skin)
- 1 red chilli (thinly sliced)
- 2 sprigs of green onion (thinly sliced)
- 1tsp red chilli powder
- 1tsp paprika powder
- 2tsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 tbsp chilli sauce/tomato ketchup
- 2 tsp sesame oil (or any oil of choice)
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp ginger and garlic paste
- ½ cup of warm water
- ½ tsp sesame seeds
- Fresh coriander
- 2 tsp corn flour paste (mix 1tbsp corn flour in 1 tbsp cold water, this should be of semi-thick consistency. Make sure to mix this properly to avoid any lumps)
To ensure you can stir this up in 15 minutes, prep all your veggies in advance. Thaw the veggies and prawns under hot running water.
- Marinade the prawns with 2 tbsp lemon juice, garlic and ginger paste and paprika powder.
- Microwave the sugar snaps for 2 minutes in a bowl with about 2-3tbsp of water. If you don’t prefer the crunch then steam them longer.
- Make the corn flour paste and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a pan, add the chunks of onions and fry in high heat for a few minutes. Add ½ tsp salt and continue to saute the onions. You can add spritz of warm water if you find the onions sticking to the pan.
- Reduce the flame to medium high and add the prawns. Add the spices and sauces now, fry this up for 4-5 minutes.
- The prawn and the sauce will be dry at this point, so add some warm water to loosed the sauces a bit.
- Add all your veggies at this point (except the sugar snaps and green onion) and continue cooking in medium flame. Add rest of the salt now and make sure to coat the veggies in the sauce well.
- After about 5 minutes, add 1/2cup of hot water, the water should form a runny gravy. You can now add the corn flour paste* and make sure to run a spoon in circular motion constantly as you add the paste (prevents it from forming lumps in the gravy). Turn the flame med-high, add your steamed sugar snaps and red chilli, finish off with the lemon juice and green onions.
- Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and fresh coriander before serving.
*The gravy consistency really is down to personal preference, I was not looking to make a runny gravy based dish but at the same time I didn’t want the dish to be dry. You can completely omit the corn flour and the 1/2cup of water and treat this as a stir fry. Also if you find that the dish is still too runny for you, then you can add 1/2tsp more of the corn flour paste.
I really believe that even those who don’t fancy vegetables will enjoy this with a bowl of rice. (A girl can dream!)