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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