Friday, 12 June 2020

Food for thought: Camarão apanhado em redes de espaguete

Prawns caught in spaghetti nets? Now theres something for you to ponder. I sometimes think its fun to bring a bit of theatre to the dinner table and
I’m always trying to come up with new ways to excite, and at the same time perhaps inform a little about what I have cooked. Today I thought it would be fun to try something new with spaghetti!
Despite being an omnivore, I still think it is really important for us to know the path of how our food gets to our plate.I love prawns — it's one of my favourite forms of  seafood. My devotion to eating prawns however comes with expenses, not merely financial. From health-related problems, to environmental concerns, to human rights violations, I recently informed myself of what my guilty pleasure involved.Yes, I was a little shocked but It wasn´t all doom and gloom and there was a plus side at the end of it all.You may not think much about the dietary implications of eating prawns, even as you're mowing through a pound-and-a-half of the meaty  succulent sea beeebies. After all, nothing that small could possibly be bad for you,could it? Low in calories yes,but there's something that might give you pause if you're worried about your heart: In spite of their small size, what prawns lack in calories they make up for in weirdly high cholesterol. 100g of prawns  equals around 200 milligrams of cholesterol — a full day's allocation for those watching their heart health. In spite of those high numbers, some research suggests that because prawns are so low in total fat and contain no saturated fat, a shrimp-heavy diet may actually be healthier overall than, say, an egg-based diet. The cholesterol numbers alone shouldn't dissuade you or me from knocking out a good old retro prawn cocktail from time to time.My motivation to cook the above dish was inspired by an an experimental dining event that London based events organisers Bompas and Parr held in 2017.
They invited the public to consider the much-overlooked path that food takes to their plate. Specifically, it required participants to directly kill their dinner before they tucked into it.
The ritual allowed guests to take a close look at shellfish, appreciating their provenance and their role within the ocean food chain amid the context of the lengths we go to in order to source and prepare beautiful and tasty food. Then, each person was schooled in the biologically most efficient and humane method of killing a crab, before directly ending its life, cooking it, de-shelling it and devouring it.
The focus of this "Kill It, Eat It" ceremony was focused on drawing attention to a culinary area that is typically veiled with mystery, with most consumers inured to the reality of what raising, culling and preparing animals to eat actually entails.
Each guest’s cooked crab was finally dressed by a trained team of chefs and presented back to the group as part of a meal, accompanied with cocktails.
A thought-provoking check that de-mystifies our carnivorous culture in the most visceral way is no bad thing. Exploring the reality of our voracious appetite for all kinds of food, and assessing issues of sustainability and of course celebrating  the food sources is a good thing.All the while ask yourself  the question, if you want to eat animals, shouldn’t you be prepared to kill them yourself? I'm still not sure I know my answer.Do you?Not enough to convert to veganism anyway.
Prawns caught in spaghetti nets (goon sarong)
In Thailand, this dish is known as Goong Sarong whereby goong refers to prawn and sarong means wrapped around. I love the notion of food in a sarong.
 While the original dish is done using vermicelli or even egg noodles (sometimes in Chinese cuisine), I wanted to see how it would taste using Western pasta. Frankly, the idea of deep-fried spaghetti didn’t really appeal to me initially, but I was pleasantly surprised in the end. It brought a bit of fun to the table but apart from providing contrasting texture on the plate taste wise it didn´t make my palate run wild.It´s a thing!!!
  
Cook the pasta like normal, in a pot of salted boiling water.
 

While the pasta boils, prep your shrimp so that they are deveined and the shells are removed except for the tail (or just buy them that way).
Strain. Do not rinse pasta or toss in oil. We need the pasta to be sticky!
 

Grab a small amount of pasta, about 15 strands. Straighten them out in your hand and use them like a rope to wrap around one shrimp. It doesn't need to be perfect. Use the stickiness of the pasta to keep everything in place, and set down on a plate or pan. Continue until all your shrimp are done.
 

Make sure to use a deep fry thermometer and a sturdy pot. Deep fry in 350°F oil until shrimp is cooked and pasta is lightly browned, about two and a half minutes. Remove from oil and place on rack to dry.


I served mine( as pictured above) with a Dtom yam gung,hot and sour soup

Alternative variations: Classic Aioli  or  a Chilli sauce

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