Panko Prawns with Katsu….. at home! From Celebrity Chef & Fellow Master Chef in Spain- Steven Saunders

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This week Celebrity Chef & Fellow Master Chef Steven Saunders, proprietor of The Little Geranium in La Cala shares his secret for Katsu sauce with us, easy to make & fantastic with panko prawns

LET’S face it, it’s all about cooking at home these days since we can not go anywhere other than our kitchen and our front room!
I have been cooking some fantastic food for our HomeChef Company which has really taken off.  However, we feel that we are putting ourselves and others at risk by delivering into people’s homes every day. The idea was to help people, give them a treat, a special meal but I don’t want to put Michele (who does the deliveries) or anyone for that matter, to risk and so it is with regret that we have to suspend the company’s services until further notice.

Last week Euro Weekly Newspaper group owners (Steven & Michel Euesden) ordered from HomeChef and said it was the best fine dining food ever, in the comfort of their own home. Thank you guys!

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We will be back delivering as soon as this virus disaster dies down! So in the meantime try this simple recipe, at home. It is inspired by Japanese flavours; the sauce is called Katsu and has really taken off in the West. Katsu works well with fried chicken, crispy duck and especially prawns.

When you do get out to go shopping, go to the freezer section in the supermarket (where there is more choice) and look for boxes of large prawns with shells on. On the box, it will say (if in Spain!) Congelado a bordo which means frozen on board.
Years ago I was filming an outside broadcast show for This Morning TV and I went on a fishing trip to Cornwall. I knew nothing about fishing, so I asked lots of questions.


I remember one of the questions was why they were freezing the prawns we caught on board and not delivering them fresh?  “Because, my boy”, the fisherman said, “we won’t be docking until later today and they will sit on this boat in the sunshine and then they won’t be so fresh when we get them to shore!”  They blanched the prawns in huge pots of boiling water on the boat and then dropped them into another huge pot filled with iced water and then they packed them into a freezer on board.  So when you buy frozen prawns look for the wording frozen on board and they will be as fresh as they can get!

Once you have your prawns you will need to defrost them and peel and de bowel them by removing that annoying little vein on the back of each prawn. Then coat them in panko breadcrumbs and deep fry or you can use a wok or saucepan half-filled with vegetable or sunflower oil. Panko breadcrumbs are a Japanese breadcrumb made by drying large flakes of crustless bread. The difference between them and regular breadcrumbs is that they are light, made lighter by not using the crusts.


When fried they keep crispy longer (ideal for home deliveries!) and when you bite through the crispy crumb into the soft prawn and then dip into the Katsu sauce… well, all your troubles fade away for a few minutes!  It’s an easy recipe but this Katsu sauce is my own creation and it makes it unique. I have blended my own desires together to create a sweet, slightly salty, dipping sauce and although I say it myself…it really is a sensation!

Panko Katsu Prawns (Serves two)
16 large prawns peeled but with tails still connected
2 eggs whole beaten
4 tablespoons of plain flour
8 tablespoons of panko breadcrumbs * (see note) with 2 tablespoons plain flour mixed into it
Seasoning (Maldon salt and pepper)
Sushi ginger (optional)
Wakame seaweed (optional, you can often find this frozen)
2 teaspoons of Japanese 7 spice or various mixed spices
Sesame seeds
A little salad as garnish dressed with lemon and olive oil
Sunflower oil for deep frying
Katsu sauce (see recipe below)
Chefs Note: Panko breadcrumbs are best but you can dry your own bread (avoiding the crusts) and then blend it when it is dried in your food processor

Katsu Sauce
This fantastic sauce originates from Japan but I have eaten it in many countries and adapted the recipe according to what I think is best. In our restaurant, we make our own chilli sauce as the base but I know that you are not going to be able to do that at home so please see below and try this simple recipe.

2 heaped tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce
1 tablespoon of good quality soy sauce
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
Juice of ½ lemon

Method for sauce and prawns
-For sauce, simply mix all the ingredients together and taste and reserve.
-Dip the peeled prawns into the egg then the flour and finally and carefully coat with the panko breadcrumbs
-Arrange on a tray and get the fat fryer heated to 190C
-Fry in two batches 1 x 8 prawns then 1 x 8 prawns
-Cook until crispy approximately two minutes
-Remove and drain on a tray lined with kitchen paper
-Season with the spices the sesame seeds and the salt and pepper
-Serve hot with the Katsu sauce in a dipping dish, a little dressed salad and garnish with the sushi ginger and the wakame seaweed

Follow Steven on Instagram ….saunderschef & Facebook Stevensaunderschef

The Little Geranium, Winner of Best Contemporary International Restaurant in Spain 2020 & Best Luxury Restaurant Marbella 2020 www.thelittlegeranium.com




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