Szechuan Prawns with Jasmine Tea Rice

Chinese New Year is one of my favourite celebrations of the year because of the food. Chinese is probably my favourite take away of choice but I also love to cook it to (try to anyway!) What is your Chinese Zodiac? Mine is the Goat. I would love to visit China and learn more of how to cook the cuisine. Anyway, you came to read a recipe not my travel dreams… here is one of my favourite recipes by Jamie Oliver, Szechuan Sweet and Sour Prawns, but with one of my best-loved rice variations – Jasmine Tea Rice! It doesn’t just go with this dish, it goes with anything and perfect for the Chinese New Year.

Serves 2

Ingredients for Jasmine Tea Rice:

150g of uncooked brown (or white long grain) rice
350ml brewed Jasmine Tea (which is 2 tsp loose leaf or 2 tea bags)

  1. Firstly brew your tea. I normally make a pot and drink the leftover (ssh)
  2. Strain your rice under cold water and place in a saucepan.
  3. Add your 350ml brewed Jasmine Tea and bring to the boil. Then simmer for 20 minutes or until all the tea has been absorbed by the rice.

 Ingredients for Szechuan Prawns:
1 large tin pineapple rings, keep the juice
½ red pepper
½ yellow pepper
1 cloves of garlic
1 fresh red chillies
sea salt
½ thumb-sized piece of ginger
12 peeled raw king prawns (we had more because we love prawns)
Groudnut oil , or vegetable oil
1 ½ tablespoons rice or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon low-salt soy sauce
tablespoon cornflour
½ bunch of fresh coriander (optional)

  1. Take your tin of pineapple rings and drain the juice into a bowl – you’ll need it later.
  2. Preheat a griddle pan or in my case my old trusty friend George Foreman.
  3. Add the pineapple for 4 minutes, or until charred and bar-marked, turning occasionally, then remove to a board to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, halve, deseed and finely slice the peppers lengthways.
  5. Add to the griddle for about 3 minutes, or until slightly softened and bar-marked, turning halfway.
  6. Peel the garlic and deseed the chillies, then roughly chop and place into a pestle and mortar. (now I don’t have a pestle and mortar so the end of a rolling pin and a sandwich bag works just as well). Bash with a pinch of salt to a rough paste.
  7. Peel, finely chop and add the ginger, then bash until broken down and combined.
  8. Place the chilli paste into a large bowl with the prawns and a splash of oil, then mix well. This is the best time to start on your rice.
  9. Heat a lug of oil (about 4 tbsp should do it) in a large wok or non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the prawn mixture and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until just cooked through.
  10. Meanwhile, chop the cooled pineapple into bite-sized chunks.
  11. In a bowl, combine the pineapple juice, vinegar, soy, cornflour and a splash of water, then add to the wok with the chargrilled pineapple and peppers.
  12. Bring to the boil, then simmer over a low heat for about 2 minutes, or until thickened and reduced.
  13. Pick over the coriander leaves, then serve with the Jasmine Tea rice.