Home Beccanomics: “Cereal Prawns” with Avocado Salsa

Now that I have a little more time on my hands I’ve been able to dream of grander dishes to cook for my family! This involves an intensified use of the Anova sous-vide machine Amos and I purchased late last year. It’s a great device since it can be attached to basically any pot and doesn’t take up too much storage space.

This time, I decided to reinvent cereal prawns – a much-loved hawker dish that is offered in many zichar restaurants in Singapore. This involves crispy prawns deep fried in their shells, coated with an irresistible spicy, buttery-sweet cereal / oat mixture. Very indulgent and very unhealthy, a real treat. Instead, what we have here is a far healthier but no less delicious version that can be thrown together at home without all the oil and grease that deep frying generates. I had lots of fun picking out the largest tiger prawns at the supermarket too ^^.

Since this was meant to be a starter, I made an avocado salsa (adapted from Thomas Keller) to help cleanse the palate and to balance some of the dryness from the cereal. I must say this was a great hit with the family overall, and so easy to make! Recipe as follows.

Sous Vide “Cereal Prawns” with Avocado Salsa

For the cereal prawns:
4 large tiger prawns, deshelled and tails on (keep the shells for stock purposes next time!)
A knob of butter
Salt and black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup Nestum cereal
1 tbsp butter
Red pepper / chili flakes, to taste
1 tsp sugar

For the avocado salsa:
1 ripe avocado, cubed
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/2 Japanese cucumber, diced
3/4 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and black pepper, to taste

1. Set the sous-vide temperature to 55 deg C. Lay the tiger prawns horizontally in a ziploc bag (note: Ensure that the ziploc bag can withstand the water temperature and is thick enough not to leak!). Add the butter, salt and pepper. Seal using the water displacement method (see next step).

2. When the water bath has reached its desired temperature, slowly lower the ziploc bag into the water, allowing the water pressure to force the air out of the bag. Allow the bag to be almost fully immersed, with only the seal above the water, before sealing the ziploc. Ensure that no water enters the ziploc bag. Set timer for 30 minutes.

3. Prepare the cereal. Melt the butter in a small pan until bubbling. Add the chili flakes and fry, about 2 minutes. Toss all the cereal in at one go, stirring with a wooden spoon to ensure that the butter coats all the cereal and helps it to brown nicely.

4. Transfer into a bowl and allow the cereal to cool. When cooled, stir in the sugar.

5. Prepare the avocado salsa. Toss all the ingredients together, being gentle so as not to smash the avocado. If you do end up doing so, guacamole tastes really good too! Set aside.

6. Plate up the cereal and avocado salsa to your liking. When the prawns are ready, pat dry before plating. Et voila! Enjoy!


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