I was shopping at Giant super-mart when I spotted some nice, thick and fresh asparagus from Australia. I happily grabbed a few spears ...
6 to 7 thick spears of asparagus*
8 to 10 thin slices of carrot
6 to 7 medium-sized prawns
2 slices ginger
1 tsp shredded scallop sauce (similar to XO sauce)
1/2 tsp bean paste sauce
Soy sauce to taste (optional)
A little cooking wine
A little cornstarch solution to thicken the gravy
* Tip: Use the top tender part for stir fry and use the bottom part for making cream of asparagus soup.
1) Remove shell, devein and clean the prawns. Pat dry. Add a pinch of salt, a tsp of cooking oil, a tsp of cooking wine and a dash of pepper to marinate the prawns (about 3 to 5 minutes before cooking).
2) Remove the tough fibre from the asparagus by peeling off the outer skin with a vegetable peeler. Cut into thick slices. Blanch the asparagus and carrot slices in salted boiling water for about 2 minutes to partial-cook the vegetables (add 1/2 tsp oil in the water so that the asparagus retains the bright green colour). Drain off water and set aside.
3) Heat up the wok on high heat. Add a little oil. Add the prawns and sear both sides - takes about a minute. Remove and set aside.
4) Add a little more oil to the hot wok. Stir fry the ginger slices briefly. Add the blanched asparagus and carrot slices. Stir fry briefly till aromatic. Add in the shredded scallop sauce and bean paste sauce and stir fry to combine. Add in the prawns from step 3. Stir and add a dash of cooking wine from the side of the wok. Stir and add a little water or stock for gravy. Stir well to combine. At this point, you may want to add a little soy sauce to taste (check the taste first to determine how much soy sauce to add).
5) Add some cornstarch solution to thicken the gravy. Serve hot immediately.