Went to the movies today. My friend suggested we catch the latest Sherlock Holmes – A Game of Shadows. Now I had seen the first one a couple of years ago, and well, lets just say that it wasn’t one of my favourites. You know the kind of film you see once, and even that’s too much. So I couldn’t figure for the life of me what I was doing agreeing to go squander an evening seeing Robert Downey Jr. play that role again.
Now I’ve got nothing against Robert Downey Jr. I honestly think he’s a brilliant actor, but I’m a Jeremy Brett loyalist, and I couldn’t wrap my head around Downey playing a role that Brett owned so completely that every other actor who preceded or succeeded him in that role, paled in comparison. But yeah I did go, and this time I didn’t regret it… Or perhaps it was because I was really in the mood for something Bollywood, and this film fit the bill, right down to the last slow-mo punch, rattle and shake.
But it was nice seeing Stephen Fry on screen after quite a while, and Noomi Rapace, though her role was quite ornamental. A waste of talent… but then it is a good stepping stone up into the big league. Stephen Fry on the other hand, and I absolutely love the man, could do with a short run round the block for a couple of months. Oh, do spare us the unnecessary display of flesh the next time around Mr. Ritchie.
And speaking of fat… I saved some from the bacon I had for breakfast this morning. Yeah, yeah, I know, I ought to be cutting back on calories. But then what’s life without bacon huh?
Anyway after the film I really felt like eating something light and delicious, so I decided to rustle up a quick and easy Prawn with Mushroom. And since I had both dried shitake and oyster mushrooms in my pantry, figured a duo of mushrooms would be good, with some garlic, onion and green chillies. That’s it, light and simple, with soy and oyster sauce, honey, and a bit of sesame seed oil… and yes, a tablespoon of white rice vinegar. All served up on a bed of rice.
All it took was –
12 large prawns
A large handful each of dried shitake and oyster mushrooms (washed and steeped in boiling hot water for 20 minutes)
2 medium cloves of garlic – sliced fine
1/2″ piece of garlic – sliced fine
1 medium onion – cut into chunks or large dice
3 green chillies – sliced
1 tablespoon white rice vinegar
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 tablespoons sesame seed oil
3 tablespoons bacon fat (for frying the prawns)
1 1/2 teaspoon cornflour
A pinch of white pepper
Salt (to taste – if required )
Clean and wash the prawns and pat them dry. Slice then down the back to butterfly them. Marinade them in light soy, vinegar and honey, a 1/2 teaspoon of cornflour, and a pinch of salt if required. Let it sit for about 20 minutes – while the mushrooms are steeping in the hot water. When the mushrooms are done, drain them and reserve some of the strained liquid. Chop the shitake mushrooms into bite size pieces (not too small).
Fry the prawns in the bacon fat on high heat, just a couple of minutes on each side to get a nice sear and drain. (This is the only really indulgent part of this recipe – but the bacon fat does wonders to the prawn, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.)
Meanwhile heat up your wok, nice and hot, and add the sesame oil, being extremely careful not to burn it. Quickly toss in the garlic, ginger and half the green chillies, before adding the shitake mushrooms, tossing them around for 3 – 4 minutes. You can add a few tablespoons of some of the reserved mushroom liquid now, followed by the oyster mushrooms and continue to stir-fry on high.
Add in the diced onions, the dark soy and oyster sauce, about a 1/4 cup of the mushroom liquid and the balance cornflour and stir-fry for about 4 – 5 minutes. You can add a pinch of salt (if required) at this stage. I didn’t. And a pinch of white pepper.
And add the prawns, giving them a quick flip around, to catch all the juices from the mushrooms.
Serve on a bed of fluffy white rice… oh and if you have some spring onion greens you could use them as garnish. I didn’t have any, but it didn’t make a difference. It was still a delicious, light, healthy and soul satisfying meal after an evening of popcorn and an average film.
The perfect way to end the day!