Sunday, October 25, 2009

Braised Prawns and Vegetables in Birds Nest

The "Birds Nest" would have to be one of the dishes we always order when dining at a Chinese Restaurant. The kids love them and I must admit so do I. From the minute it arrives at the table to minute the last piece is eaten it is just such a treat. Starting crispy in the beginning and then as it mops up the juice of the dish it becomes soggy and you can guarantee there is always an argument of "he had more than me" or "that was meant to be my piece"!!

You need quite a saucy dish to put into the bird's nest so you end up with the soggy noodles at the bottom. Braised Prawns and Vegetables fits this bill nicely and has a clean taste. But you could use any of your favourite chinese dishes, afterall the baskets are just like using rice or noodles as a side.

Braised Prawns with Vegetables in Birds Nest

Serves: 4
Points per serve: With Bird's Nest: WW "danger beware"
Without Bird's Nest: 3

250 gram packet long life nooodles
oil for deep frying
500 grams raw king prawns, peeled and tails removed
250g can bamboo shoots
250 grams brocolli
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
200g button mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tablespooon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon cornflour
pinch sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger

Bring a saucepan of water to boil and cook noodles according to the packet directions. Drain and spread on a tea towel to dry. Allow to dry for 30 minutes or more if time permits.

Heat a wok or large saucepan full of oil, enough to cover the noodle enclosed sieves completely.

Line the bigger sieve with a layer of noodles, covering completely. Place the smaller sieve on top of the noodles and press firmly to mould, secure with two wire clips if a little loose. Place sieve in the hot oil and cook for 3 - 5 minutes or until noodles are crispy and cooked through. Carefully remove from the hot oil and place on a paper towel lined plate. Allow to cool slightly before attempting to remove from sieves as the metal will be hot.

Meanwhile heat oil in the wok add prawns and quickly sautee until just pink. Remove from heat.

To the same pan add the bamboo soots, broccoli, carrot and mushrooms. Stirfry for 4 - 5 minutes or until broccoli has started to soften. Add spring onions. Toss for 1 - 2 minutes.

Blend together the cornflour, chicken stock, oyster sauce, salt, pepper, sugar and ginger. Add to the vegetables. Bring to the boil. Return the prawns to the pan, continue to stir for 1 - 2 minutes or until heated through. Serve in the birds nest.


Although the noodle baskets are quite easy to prepare, there is a little fiddling with it especially cooking with the hot oil. So please, be careful. You can prepare these earlier, store in a air tight container and warm in the oven prior to serving. To shape the baskets you need two metal sieves. One needs to be just a little smaller than the other so it fits inside, enclosing the noodles tightly.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

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