Gok says: "There is so little wastage when cooking Chinese food - if making a king prawn dish like this one, all the shells and prawn heads can be used to make a delicious stock. When you've shelled the prawns - I always wear a pair of rubber gloves when I'm preparing this dish, as I can't stand the smell of prawns on my hands - pile the shells, tails and heads into a pan of boiling water, add some garlic and smashed ginger and you have a gorgeous and tasty stock. Use this stock to add flavour and balance to any dish, be it meat, fish or vegetables. This is how cooking should be - free! As Poppa Wan always says, 'No waste it . . . it add fravor, innit!'"
- For the stock
- 4 cm piece of fresh ginger, cut in half and roughly bruised
- 2 – 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly bruised
- shells and heads from 8 raw king prawns (prawns used below)
- For the stir-fry
- 2 tblsp groundnut oil
- 2 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 4 spring onions, trimmed, green and white parts separated, whites roughly bruised
- 8 raw king prawns, peeled and de-veined
- 3 sticks of celery, trimmed and thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- salt and ground white pepper
- 1 – 2 teaspoons shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
- 2 tsp light soy sauce
- 1 – 2 tsp fish sauce, to taste
- a pinch of sugar
- 100 g cashew nuts
- 1 heaped tsp cornflour mixed with a little cold water
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- For the stock, place the ginger, garlic and prawn shells and heads into a wok or saucepan. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Once boiling reduce the heat and gently simmer for up to 1 hour (although 10–15 minutes is fine). Drain the liquid through a sieve lined with muslin before using, discarding the spices, shells and heads.
- Heat the oil in a wok over a high heat. Add the ginger, garlic and spring onions (both green and white parts) and cook for a minute or until the garlic has softened and the ginger is aromatic. Add the prawns and cook for a further minute, then add the celery and ¾ of the chilli.
- Once the prawns start to turn pink, add 4 tablespoons of stock (the rest of the stock can be used in other recipes) and season with salt and pepper. Add the Shaoxing rice wine, soy sauce and fish sauce. Taste, and if the mixture is too salty, add a pinch of sugar. Add the cashews and dot in ½–1 teaspoon of the cornflour mix to slightly thicken the dish.
- Serve the prawns sprinkled with the remaining chopped chilli and a drizzle of sesame oil. If you like, you can use a large savoy cabbage leaf as a bowl.
Extracted from GOK COOKS CHINESE by Gok Wan, out in Hardback by Penguin/Michael Joseph, £20. The book is the official tie-in to Gok’s TV cookery series on Channel 4 which starts on 21st May.