A spectacular prawn dish that's well worth the effort.
- 150 g frozen kataifi pastry (see method introduction)
- 25 g plain flour
- 1 egg
- 50 ml milk
- 12 fresh dublin bay prawns (peeled and veins removed)
- groundnut oil (for deep-frying)
- maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- chilli jam and lemon mayonnaise, to garnish
- mixed salad leaves lightly dressed with french vinaigrette, to serve
- Allow the pastry to thaw, still in its plastic wrapping, for a minimum of 2 hours before using. Once thawed, it will be soft and pliable and ready to use, but remember that you must always keep it well covered with a clean, damp tea towel when not in use.
- Place the flour in a shallow dish and season it generously with salt and pepper. In a separate shallow dish, beat the egg with the milk and a pinch of salt.
- Toss the prawns in the seasoned flour until lightly coated, then dip briefly in the beaten egg mixture.
- Next, wrap the prawns in the kataifi pastry: lay about 5g (1/4oz) of the pastry in a rectangle on a board. Sit a prawn at the end closest to you, across the width of the pastry and then roll it up away from you to completely enclose. Place the wrapped prawns, well spaced apart, on a baking sheet lined with a piece of non-stick baking paper.
- Cover the prawns with cling film and chill until ready to use; they will sit happily for up to 4 hours in the fridge.
- Just before serving, heat the groundnut oil in a deep-fat fryer or a deep-sided saucepan to 160°C (325°F). Cook the wrapped prawns in batches of three for about 3 minutes, turning halfway through with tongs, until crisp, golden brown and cooked through. Drain on kitchen paper
- To serve, place three prawns on each large serving plate. Spoon a little Chilli Jam and Lemon Mayonnaise alongside. Arrange a small pile of dressed salad to the side.
Neven's tip: Kataifi is a finely shredded pastry which can be bought in Asian markets or deli shops. When raw, it looks like vermicelli noodles; when cooked, like a shredded wheat breakfast cereal. It should be treated delicately like filo pastry, and keeps for up to 3 months in the fridge if in its original packaging.