Steamed king prawns with sea parsley, spring onion and ginger dipping sauce

Steamed Ballina king prawns with sea parsley, spring onion and ginger dipping sauce.
Steamed Ballina king prawns with sea parsley, spring onion and ginger dipping sauce. Photo: William Meppem

Ballina king prawns bring to mind rich childhood memories of Christmas holidays spent in Byron Bay and Ballina with my extended Chinese family. Each day we would feast on prawn sandwiches after long days at the beach. This Australian-Chinese dipping sauce goes perfectly with these prawns and is also delicious with white-cooked chicken.

Ingredients

8 uncooked king prawns (about 550g)

2 tbsp shao hsing wine

Sea parsley, spring onion and ginger dipping sauce

2 x 8cm pieces (90g) ginger, finely chopped

1 bunch spring onions, mostly green ends, finely sliced (about 2 cups)

15g sea parsley*, leaves picked, roughly chopped

¾ tsp salt flakes

¾ cup (190ml) peanut oil

Method

1. Peel, devein and butterfly prawns, leaving tails intact

2. To make the sea parsley, spring onion and ginger dipping sauce, pound ginger, spring onion, sea parsley and salt to paste using a mortar and pestle. Transfer paste to a heatproof bowl.

3. Heat peanut oil in a small frying pan until moderately hot. Carefully pour in the paste, scalding the ingredients to release their fragrance and aroma. Mix well. Transfer dipping sauce to a small serving bowl.

4. Meanwhile, in a shallow heatproof bowl that will fit inside a steamer basket, arrange prawns in a single layer and pour over the shao hsing wine. Place bowl inside steamer and position over a deep saucepan or a wok filled with boiling water. Steam, covered, for about five minutes or until prawns are just cooked through.

5. Carefully remove bowl from steamer and transfer prawns to a serving plate. Serve with dipping sauce on the side.

*If sea parsley is unavailable, use coriander leaves

This recipe features as part of our Good Food Christmas feast.