butterflied prawns in eden

What a name! Sure, this dish may be common but did you know that simply by putting in a little effort to carve your vegetables, you can create give a new and beautiful breathe of life to an ordinary dish? My little daughters were fascinated with the carrots and broccoli stems which were cut to resemble flowers sitting in the midst of a bed of freshly blanched green broccoli. To give it a more “garden feel”, I used orchid mushrooms as well in this dish. I bought the orchid mushrooms in can and they are quite delicious with a light crunch. You can also use any other suitable mushrooms such as straw mushrooms.

The prawns were cut to resemble like butterflies but being an amateur, I can’t say they look like one. What I did was to remove the heads, middle shell and legs by fingers and leave the tails attached. Next, I use a knife to make a slit down the centre back of each prawn and removed the guts (brownish black thread running down the back of the prawn). When the prawn is cooked, it will give a nice slightly opened shape.

To cut the carrots or broccoli stems into flower-like shapes, you will need to first scrape off the outer layer. Next, cut the carrots into 6 cm lengths. You will need thick broccoli stems for the same purpose. Then, lay the carrot onto a chopping board and make a slanted cut (about 5mm deep or lesser) length-wise along the carrot. Then make another parallel slanted cut just next to it so that both cuts resemble a V shape. You will then be able to remove the whole strip thus leaving you a length-wise groove. Repeat this over the other parts of the carrot until you get at least 5 grooves. Then, slice the carrot sideways and voila! You’ll get the flower-shaped carrots.

Get creative. It makes a whole world of difference to the eating experience!

This is my recipe for Butterflied Prawns in Eden


  • 8 to 10 pieces medium sized prawn (butterflied)
  • 150 grammes broccoli (cut into florets. stems cut into flower-shape)
  • 1 medium sized carrot (cut into flower-shape)
  • 1/2 tin of orchid mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic (chopped finely)
  • some cornstarch
  • 300 ml hot water
  • a pot of water
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • salt to taste
  • a couple of dashes of white pepper powder
  • 1 teaspoon of light soya sauce


Bring a pot of water (about 2 litres) to boil. Once boiling, add 2 teaspoons of salt and drizzle some cooking oil. Then blanch broccoli florets till your desired softness. Remove and drain. Place aside to cool. Repeat process with carrots and broccoli stems.

Heat oil in wok. Add half the chopped garlic into the wok together with prawns. Stir fry briskly and add 1 teaspoon of light soya sauce. Remove prawns once it has completely cooked and curled up. Set aside.

Add oil into wok followed by garlic and orchid mushrooms. Stir fry briskly for about 30 seconds before adding 300 ml hot water. Bring to boil and add seasoning to taste. Cover with lid and reduce heat to medium. Allow gravy to reduce to half.

Meanwhile, arrange broccoli florets in a ring on a deep plate. Place carrot and broccoli stem flowers on top of the broccoli florets. Place remaining flowers in the middle.

Check the orchid mushrooms and add some cornstarch to thicken the gravy a little. It should be slightly runny but not watery. Remove from heat.

Scoop some orchid mushrooms and place on centre of the dish. Place prawns on top of orchid mushrooms and flowers before pouring the gravy over the whole dish.

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  1. 1
    Pink Parisian
    October 14th, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Looks good enough to eat! πŸ˜‰

  2. 2
    October 15th, 2008 at 2:00 am

    Simple yet nice! Good!

  3. 3
    October 15th, 2008 at 3:00 am

    Mum cut the carrots for our vegetarian chap chye dish but I don’t think we have the patience or skill.

    Yours looks pretty!

  4. 4
    October 15th, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    It is such a pretty dish. Almost look too good to be eaten. “Almost”.

  5. 5
    October 15th, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Your garden is so beautiful with colourful flowers and “butterflies”. I must build one too! Luvly prawns and nice shot!

  6. 6
    October 15th, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    wow! truly a work of art indeed.

  7. 7
    October 15th, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    You blog is improving in look and layout. Each time I visit, it gets better. Nice photos of prawns and broccoli, my favourite. Yummy!

  8. 8
    October 15th, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    This dish looks simple to make yet you have made it beautifully and the colour combination looks really good. I should try to cook this dish for my kids too.

    Thanks for the wonderful idea… Now i can make them eat veggie more often πŸ™‚

  9. 9
    October 15th, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    Pink Parisian : Certified edible πŸ˜‰

    Ladyhomechef : This is probably one of my more adventurous endeavors.

    Nate : Thanks. I was rushing a bit and so, the “flowers” are a little rough πŸ˜€

    Jun : My wife, my 2 daughters and I finished the whole plate in one meal πŸ˜€

    lk : Try it and spring a surprise to everyone.

    Jasmine : A different kind of art from you, yes? πŸ˜€

    Diana : Thanks! Glad to see you again!

    PenangTuaPui : The things we do to encourage our kids to eat more vege! LOL!

  10. 10
    October 16th, 2008 at 1:09 am

    most definitely a dish made with lots of love – colourful, attractive and healthy. will try this out this weekend and keep you posted on the outcome. thanks for sharing!

  11. 11
    October 16th, 2008 at 9:14 am

    lovely name and presentation! Wow you carve the carrots from hand, impressed! I cheat by using cookie cutters, hee

  12. 12
    October 16th, 2008 at 11:55 am

    wat a luxurious name! sounds simple and yummy

  13. 13
    Lil' Ms Pinky
    October 17th, 2008 at 2:20 am

    Beautiful dish (so colourful!) and beautiful name too. I should try beautifying my vegetables sometime soon.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  14. 14
    Jin Hooi
    October 20th, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    looks beautiful !!!

  15. 15
    October 22nd, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    This dish looks great.Simply simple, colourful and yummy!

  16. 16
    October 27th, 2008 at 10:07 am

    What a nice coincidence…really really!
    I just had a post on curling prawns and I swear I did not know you had something similar about butterflied prawns! ;o

  17. 17
    October 30th, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    skinnymum : Have you tried it out? πŸ™‚

    noobcook : A little imperfect but it impressed my daughters enough for them to finish them all πŸ˜€

    babe_kl : Yeah, something like what fancy restaurants like to name πŸ˜‰ This ain’t anything fancy. You can replicate it at home πŸ˜€

    Jin Hooi : Yeah…a bit of work, of course but well worth it.

    SueSue : All natural and healthy too πŸ˜€

    tigerfish : LOL! Yeah, I saw your post too!

  18. 18
    Ms. Penang
    July 4th, 2009 at 11:16 am

    hmm…the recipe looks yummy…i shall try this next!

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