Stir-fried prawn omelette

South African palates are fine-tuned to enjoy Chinese- influenced cooking. Given the popularity of skottel cooking, this pseudo-wok is all you need for a high drama, high heat dining event in your own backyard.

Sprinkle chopped spring onion greens over each serving and provide soya sauce for the traditionalists.
Photo: Peter Whitfield

To make a generous prawn omelette for four, you will need:

  • 10 eggs
  • 20 large prawns
  • 2 onions
  • 40mm fresh root ginger
  • 5 heavy-duty spring onions
  • A few sprigs of coriander
  • Light soya sauce 
  • Sunflower, peanut or canola oil

First, the equipment. Ensure that the skottel or wok, if you have one, is clean and totally free of any residue from the last meal. Prawn preparation is a cinch. If frozen, let them thaw. Select the 20 biggest prawns and remove the heads. With a small pair of scissors cut down the length of the tail and peel off the shell. Cut out and discard the colon. Rinse the cleaned prawns and pat them dry with fresh kitchen paper towels. Reserve under cover.

Peel and thinly slice the onions. Inspect the spring onions and discard damaged leaves. Cut the white bits off and slice these finely. Chop the greens and reserve for later. Peel and grate the ginger. Wash about eight sprigs of coriander and discard the roots. Pour a couple tablespoons of the oil of your choice into the skottel and fire it up.

When heat swirls are clearly visible in the oil, add the prawns. The big deal here is to avoid over-cooking the prawns since an overdone prawn is a shrunken, flavourless, polystyrene-textured culinary disaster. Lower them into the hot oil, 10 at a time, for 40 seconds a side, turning once. Keep an eye on the stopwatch and remove them the moment the time is up. Repeat the process with the second 10 prawns. Reserve under cover.

Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and lightly mix them together. The big word here is ‘lightly’ since the desired effect is best achieved with the yellow and white maintaining some degree of separateness after cooking. Add a few fragments of coriander leaf to the raw egg mixture. Add a tablespoon of oil to the skottel and stir-fry the onion, ginger and white bits of the spring onion for 60 seconds maximum. Lower the flame and pour in the raw egg.

With an egg lifter, or Chinese stirring implement, keep the egg mixture moving, turning it over from time to time. When the eggs are nearly set, add the stir-fried prawns for a further 30 seconds of stir-frying. Remove the prawn omelette from the skottel and serve on fresh, lightly-buttered toast.

Sprinkle chopped spring onion greens over each serving and provide soya sauce for the traditionalists, but remind them that soya sauce is a powerful flavour, required in this case to enhance and not displace the flavours of egg, prawn, ginger, coriander and onion.

What a blast! I can taste it already.