The Chinese loves anything with the name ‘drunken’ LOL – not in a bad way though – let’s see, there’s Drunken Master (a popular kungfu movie), Drunken Fist (a Kungfu style when the more drunk you get, the stronger you can fight) and Drunken Chicken (popular chinese cuisine that uses alcoholic beverages to cook the chicken).
And the prawns say, “Thank you for not shaking me to death!” LOL
Here, I introduce to you another Drunken dish that is very enlightening and genuine – the Drunken Prawns (Zhui Ha)! Traditionally drunken prawns are cooked while the prawns are still alive to retain their freshness. The prawns are placed in a claypot and are then ‘shocked and shaken to death’ when strong liquor is poured into the claypot and covered, thus ‘cooking’ the prawns. Whilst the flavours are punchy with liquor and tastes absolutely delicious, I personally found this way a little cruel.
Because this dish relies solely on a few ingredients, it is therefore important to ensure that ingredients used are of most fresh. This dish really outlines the beauty of natural herbs and fresh ingredients. You can absolutely taste the natural sweetness in the soup which the family thoroughly enjoys. Best part was, you don’t need to pay premium for this kind of dish in the restaurant anymore.
Drunken Herbal Prawns (adapted from Table for Two)
10pcs large prawns (keep their shell on), deveined and remove feelers & eyes
1 tsp hondashi (can be found at asian grocers under Japanese food section)
2 pcs dang gui (chinese angelica root), rinsed
2 red dates, de-seeded and rinsed
1 tbsp goji berries, rinsed
1 bunch spring onion, cut to 4cm lengths
1 bunch coriander, leaves only
3 tbsp shoaxing wine, to taste
Salt, to taste
1. Prepare the stock by mixing hondashi and water together in a pot and bring them to boil. Add dang gui and simmer for 15mins. Then add red dates and goji berries.
2. Add salt to taste to your liking. Bring it to boil again and add prawns, spring onion and coriander. When the prawns have turned pinkish red, add shoaxing wine and turn off the heat. Using a spatula, mix it around and taste if you need more salt or wine according to your liking.
3. Transfer the prawns to a plate and drizzle soup over the prawns. Serve the remaining soup in soup bowls while it’s still hot.