Thursday, August 12, 2010
Recipe: Sakura Ebi Pasta in Prawn Oil
There is a combination of tastes that makes this dish, the smooth fragrance of prawn oil and the sharp, slightly salty crispiness of the sakura ebi. Trawl your local Japanese supermarket for sakura ebi, these can either be found fresh in the sashimi counter, or dried in the dried foods ailse. Sakura ebi is very particular to the Japanese, it is not the same as the Chinese dried shrimp or the Thai dried shrimp (goong hang). There are also different grades of sakura ebi, the more expensive kind being the daintier, pinker and smaller prawn shells. (Hence the name sakura, though the Japanese seem to think everything looks like cherry blossoms).
Spread the ebi onto a tray and put it in the oven at 150-180C for 10 minutes to crisp up the prawn shells. Test the shells to make sure they are crackly, if they are, turn off the oven or turn down the oven temperature to 50C to keep the prawns warm.
Similar to the previous recipe, boil spaghettini pasta. For this I used Barilla Spaghettini no. 3 but if you wanted a more delicate pasta or if you are serving this as a small appetizer, you can use the finer capellini pasta. Toss the hot pasta in 1/3 cup of prawn oil or cook the pasta in the oil in a broad-based frying pan or wok. If you fry the pasta, you must be prepared to use more oil or fry it with some white wine, as the direct heat will otherwise dry out your pasta.
Twirl the pasta onto a plate, or heap it into a bowl, depending on how you are serving it. Toss through with sakura ebi and tobiko roe. The sakura ebi will lose its crispiness when it gets wet so you either eat this dish right away or sprinkle the roe and ebi lightly on small pasta whirls. I also like to serve it with two serving bowls of crispy ebi and diced chives, so that people can ladle it on their pasta when they are ready.
For one lunch, we combined the konbu and ebi pasta recipes, which was also well-received but I thought, a slight over-kill.
Posted by Weylin at 3:46 PM