Plump, fresh prawns lightly battered and quickly deep fried to golden, light, crispy perfection. We serve this Filipino version of tempura with a tangy, sweet and sour sauce boasting fresh mango and pineapple, and a little kick from a Thai chile. Crispy, crunchy, succulent, sweet and heat. Masarap!
This staple dish of the Philippines, Camaron Rebosada, is simply deep-fried shrimp, with a light, crispy batter, typically served with sweet and sour sauce.
I've always loved the little oost of pleasure, or is it peace, that abides inside me when I'm happily tootling about the kitchen making, baking, preparing, goodies of one kind or another. I'm so lucky, that way. And, of course, when I am in any one of those tropical kitchens on the Big Island of Hawaii, cooking with all those gorgeous fresh Island ingredients, more than Aloha seems to fill the air.
But, in the last handful of years, I've discovered a new brand of a quiet, personal mirth that tiptoes into my kitchen. In it sneaks when I am concocting dishes that reflect my Filipino heritage. Cool beans!
So of course, yesterday here in my forest kitchen, under robin's egg blue skies, with John Cruz tunes filling the air, I was in a groovy groove doing up these tasty shrimp for dinner.
I used rice flour, instead of regular flour, to give the batter more reason to be lighter, crispier. And of course I couldn't help but smile making a sweet and sour sauce with both fresh mango AND fresh pineapple, then adding the alluring heat of a Thai chile, so that Forest Grump would smile too.
That's it. Quick, easy, yummy, crispy prawn pleasures.
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Adapted from Junblog - Stories from my Filipino Kitchen
for The Last Wonton. Thanks Jun!
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CAMARON REBOSADA with Mango Pineapple Sauce
1 pound 16/20 count prawns, peeled and deveined, tails on
1 cup rice flour, plus more for dredging the prawns
1 teaspoon salt (I always use sea salt)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 - 2/3 cup cold beer (what, oh what to do with the rest of the beer?)
Oil, for frying
Wash the shelled and deveined prawns and pat dry with paper towels.
Combine rice flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl, whisk to combine. Pour in 1/2 cup cold beer, whisking until smooth. Batter should be just a bit runny (like a thin pancake batter). If it's not, add more beer, a little bit at a time, whisking until smooth.
Heat canola or other oil in wok or large, deep pan to 375F.
Spread extra rice flour on small plate. Dredge each prawn in rice flour, dip into the batter, letting the excess drip off. Fry the prawns until golden and crispy, about 3-4 minutes. Do not crowd pan. Fry in 2 or more batches, if necessary. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot with Mango Pineapple Sweet & Sour Sauce. Kainan na!
MANGO PINEAPPLE SWEET & SOUR SAUCE
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons banana ketchup*, or regular ketchup
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 medium mango, quite finely chopped
Generous 1/2 cup fresh pineapple, quite finely chopped
2 tablespoons sweet onion, finely chopped
1 small Thai chile pepper, finely chopped
Mix all ingredients together in a medium-small pot. Stir to combine and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve warm with hot-from-the-fryer Camaron Rebosada.
*Banana Ketchup, or banana sauce, is a popular Philippine fruit ketchup condiment, made from mashed banana, sugar, vinegar and spices. Available in grocery store Asian sections or Oriental markets.*
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