Malaysian Coconut Prawns with Cognac
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Supper Club: Malaysian Coconut Prawns with Cognac

This month’s Supper Club theme was Asian food. There are so many countries to choose from that it was tough to narrow it down! I wanted to make something with shrimp, and when I saw this recipe, I figured it’d be an interesting one to try, since I’ve never cooked anything Malaysian. I didn’t find any Thai bird chilis, so I used 2 dried chile de arbol instead, and it worked out great. The cognac gives the sauce a nice flavor, and the toasted coconut topping is wonderful. This was pretty easy to put together, and everyone really liked it.

Malaysian Coconut Prawns with Cognac

Malaysian Coconut Prawns with Cognac
Jaden’s Steamy Kitchen

Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 7 minutes

1 lb shrimp/prawns (yes, they are the same thing) – washed, deveined and patted really dry
2 stalks scallions, cut into 2″ lengths
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons Cognac (Brandy or Rum make good substitutes)
1 teaspoon kosher salt (1/2 tsp table salt)
3/4 teaspoon sugar (omit sugar if you are using sweetened coconut flakes)
few whole small Thai bird chili (if you like very spicy, chop)
1/4 cup grated coconut (try to find unsweetened coconut, but sweetened will work just fine)
2 tablespoons butter

1. Toast the coconut: In a dry, nonstick skillet, toast the coconut until golden brown.

2. Fry the prawns: In a large saute pan or wok, heat 2T cooking oil on high heat. When smoking, add the prawns. Cook only half way. Timing depends on size of your prawns. When they just start to change color, remove and set aside.

3. Stir-fry: In same pan or wok, you should have some cooking oil left over. If not, add 1T. When hot, add the chili, scallions and garlic. Fry for 10 seconds until fragrant. Add Cognac, butter, salt, sugar. Reduce just a bit – you should have a nice sauce that will coat the prawns. Add the prawns back in the pan. Fry until prawns are cooked through. Again, timing depends on size of prawns. For small = 1 minute; medium = 1.5 minutes; large = 2 minutes; colossal= you prob have a personal chef. Turn off heat, add the toasted coconut and immediately serve.

Big Flavors Rating: 4 Stars

Ashley Covelli is a food photographer, recipe developer, and culinary instructor based in Ossining, New York. She loves helping people become enthusiastic and adventurous in the kitchen so that they can build skills and confidence to cook for themselves and their loved ones. She can almost always be found with at least 3 different beverages within arm's reach.

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