Dinner last night was chilli prawns from our Harumi's Japanese Home Cooking book, which we use alot. As the sushi rice was cooking in the rice cooker, I marinated 15-20 king prawns in a little sesame oil, salt, pepper and Shaoxing wine (you can use pale dry sherry instead) and set aside. In another bowl, I mixed together 200ml or a cup of hot water, a teaspoon of chicken stock powder, 4 tablespoons of tomato ketchup, a tablespoon of Shaoxing wine, a tablespoon of rice wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons of caster sugar and a little salt.
In our heavy Le Creuset saucepan, I fried a tablespoon each of finely diced garlic and ginger. When the aroma was released, I spooned in a tablespoon of chilli paste from a jar. Then I tipped in the prawns and stir-fried quickly. I added the sauce and brought to the boil then added a tablespoon of potato starch to thicken the mixture. Beginning to end, the dish took just 20 minutes to prepare and cook.
I served it with the daikon, carrot and cucumber pickles my husband had made the other night (to accompany our meal of sea bream and rice), steamed young stem broccoli and the sticky sushi rice.
Now that we've stocked our cupboards with the necessary ingredients - Shaoxing wine, mirin, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, chilli paste, soy sauce - alot of Asian foods are quick and easy for us to cook after work.