Thursday, 19 June 2014

Basil Leaves(九層塔 jiǔ céng tǎ) in Caramelized Prawns - The Picnic Game 2014 (1)

Time really flies.  It has been a year since I first joined The Picnic Game 2013 hosted by a very sweet lady, Louise of Months of Edible Celebrations. Since then, I have been waiting for the next Picnic Game and am glad that this year is my 2nd time joining in the fun.  The rule of the game is each participant is to choose an alphabet and to prepare a dish starting with the chosen alphabet.  Well, this year I have chosen the letter B and T.   For a start, here I have prepared Basil Leaves in Caramelized Prawns.  Do stay tuned to know what is in stored for T.

To know more about the game, do please visit her Picnic Game 2014's rules.
I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing ....
B - Basil Leaves in Caramelized Prawns
C - Chicken Piccata
D - Darned Easy Potato Salad
E - Eccles Cakes filled with Leeks, Spinach and Blue Cheese
F - Fourth of July Picnic S'more Tartlets
G - Gluten-free & Eggless Chocolate Steamed Cake
H - Ham Cheesy Patties
I - Italian Frittata with Vegetables
J - Jelly Roll
K - Kahlua Zucchini Chocolate Chunk Bread
L - Lemon Lavender Cupcakes
M - Meringue Roulade with Raspberries
N - Nutella Rice Pudding
O - Old-Time Favorite Iced Red Bean Popsicles
P - Pickles
Q - Quinoa Blueberry Mango Salad
R - Raspberry and Fig Cobbler
S - Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
T - Two-Ingredient Ice Cream Bread
U - Uninvited Smashed Potatoes
V - Vegan Mango Salsa
W - Watermelon Salad
X - X'mas Coconut Wreath Cake
Y - Yellow Squash Crustless Quiche
Z - Zucchini Cake-Double Chocolate

Why Basil Leaves?
I have abundance of basil plants in my garden and I used to have it in my cooking and even made dipping sauce out of it.  Thai basil is very easy to grow and if pruned regularly, it encourages speedy sprouting and you can even have some extras for your neighbors and friends!

Benefits of  Eating Thai Basil Leaves (九層塔 jiǔ céng tǎ)
Thai Basil Leaves are dark in colour.  The leaves are rich in Vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, beta carotene, calcium, flavanoids, folate, zinc iron, magnesium, selenium, niacin, lycopene, thiamin, riboflavin and potassium  among others.

Thai Basil leaves are widely used in traditional medicine for its healing benefits. They are used for common cold, influenza, cough, fever, sore throat, mouth infections, teeth and skin problems, diabetes, asthma, bronchitis, earache, headache, stomach upset, heart disease, viral hepatitis, malaria, and tuberculosis. It is also used for mercury poisoning, to promote longevity, as a mosquito repellent, insect stings and to counteract snake and scorpion bites.

It is also used as a nerve tonic, memory empowerment, phlegm removal, respiratory problems, kidney stone, heart problems, blood cholesterol reduction, and reduces stress.

Ingredients :
- 500gm big prawns (cleaned and snipped off the sharp points. Marinate with pepper)
- 1 tsp pepper (for marinate)
- 2 big onions (sliced)
- 1 tbsp shredded ginger
- 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
- a handful of Basil leaves
- 2 tbsp cooking oil

Seasonings Sauce (to taste) :
- soy sauce 
- salt
- 1 tbsp thick caramel sauce
- 1.5 tbsp palm sugar/gula melaka (finely chopped)
- 1 tsp plum sauce

Method :
1)  Heat oil in wok and pan fry prawns.  Drain and set aside.
2)  Leave the remaining oil in the wok and saute onions, ginger and garlic till fragrant.
3)  Over low heat, stir in the seasonings until it is almost caramelized.
4)  Return the cooked prawns into the wok and stir fry until the sauce is well mixed and coated with the prawns.
5)  Lastly, add in basil leaves and give it a quick stir.
6)  Serve immediately with hot steamed rice.
This caramelized prawns with Basil leaves is so flavorful and full of sweet aroma
You can add some bird eyes' chilies for a little bit of 'oomph..' if you like.  However, I omitted this as my girls can't take spicy food.
Make sure to suck out all the caramel juices from the shells..... slurrppp.....
This is finger licking good!!

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