Prawn san choi bau with squid balls for our last night in Iluka

This, my friends, is what I call san choi bau
This, my friends, is what I call san choi bau

This folks, is sadly my last post from Iluka. My seven days of love and sunshine are almost at an end. A week of a post a day (a PB for me too, I might add) devoted purely to our holiday eating is almost done. Soon the afternoons when I sit on the verandah of the holiday house, a bottle of liquid inspiration by my side, and type these words for you shall be gone. There will be no more early morning fishing trips, no swimming and skating all day long. No. I shall be returning to work. Reality is a harsh evil stepmother of a bitch. She is harsh like the face of an out back farmer with three-day growth. Harsh like the breath of a five-buck hooker. Harsh like the tongue of the salty old sea dog. Getting the picture?

I pack up all the things I deemed necessary to make my holiday complete; a few clothes, some books, my knife kit, I-pad, MacBook, IPhone, beard trimmer (don’t know why I packed this. I am well renowned for not trimming my beard very often at all), external hard drive, camera and vibra… er… nothing – all complete with chargers. Enough technology to be considered a NASA mobile command centre 20 years ago but today, bare necessities.

It is also quite possibly time for a proper wash to cleanse my self of this fishy aroma. For the past week I have been using fish for bait, catching fish and prepping seafood every single day. Nothing wrong with that, but to be sure I am starting to smell like the toilet door on an old prawn trawler.

So what do I have to help ease the pain of this impending reality of getting back to my other life (Seriously, it’s not that bad… I just love holidays as much as anyone else out there I guess)? A cleanse. A big fat healthy cleanse. No booze. No cigarettes. No meat on meat cook-ups. Just healthy eating, probably a green smoothie or two and other things conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Wish me good luck with that one.

But before that happens I will indulge myself in one more seafood cook-up. Mostly because I am damn well still on holidays for one more day and also we shall be joined by Jennee tonight after a week by herself at our real life home, and to quote her last Facebook status directly; “It has become very apparent that if Gray is not here then I would probably eat eggs on toast for dinner every night and always have an empty fridge! I think it may be time to welcome the family back to the fold…. I have run out of eggs Graeme.” So that girl is ready for some food loving too…

Stir-fried prawny goodness
Stir-fried prawny goodness
Jennee could not wait another second. Sometimes  as a food blogger you just have to work with what you've got...
Jennee could not wait another second. Sometimes as a food blogger you just have to work with what you’ve got…

SAN CHOI BAU with squid balls and prawns
300g king prawns, peeled, de-veined and diced into 1cm pieces (the fish shop only had cooked prawns so that’s what I got, but fresh would be my choice if available. They would need to be cooked with the onion though)
½ brown onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, grated
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 carrot, grated
½ cup peanuts, chopped
1 cup cooked rice… jasmine, basmati, brown. Probs not arborio… use your smarts kiddos
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon chilli in soy bean oil
Other things that would work well in here include bean sprouts, water chestnuts and bamboo shoots
Squid balls, iceberg lettuce (not butter lettuce, frissee or mesclun mix. Iceberg lettuce), coriander and an Asian inspired dipping sauce/salsa to serve
• Stirfry the onion and garlic (stirfry = hot pan/wok, yeah?) for one minute
• Add the ginger, cabbage, carrot, peanuts and rice and toss for another minute
• Add the sauces and prawns and rock that shit for one more minute
• Check seasoning, adjust if necessary, serve in lettuce cups with squid balls, coriander and salsa

Squid balls
Squid balls

Squid balls
500g fresh squid, cleaned and diced
200g pork mince
½ cup cooked rice just to help it stick together. Breadcrumbs would work but I like rice
1 eshallot or ¼ onion, chopped
1 long red chilli, chopped
½ kafir lime leaf, chiffonade
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
1 teaspoon fish sauce
A good pinch white pepper
• Process everything except squid, pork and rice, to make a coarse paste. Set aside
• Now pulse squid, pork and rice in a food processor (the same one you used for the spice paste should do the trick) to make a coarse paste all of their very own. Don’t put it all into the food processor together and think you will achieve the same result. The squid and pork will end up pureed to shit and you still want a bit of texture in there
• Mix the spice paste and the meat paste together. Form into small balls or quenelles and fry in hot oil for 3 minutes, turning regularly
• Serve with the other stuff

Bye bye Iluka. It’s been swell… really swell

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14 thoughts on “Prawn san choi bau with squid balls for our last night in Iluka

  1. Amazing. Just amazing. I love the amped up version of this san choi bau, I can understand why Jennee couldn’t wait to dig in!!! Haha, fried eggs on toast. That’d be what my husband would eat if I was away… though to his credit he does cook steak and mac n’cheese. Glad you had an awesome holiday Graz. Oh, and that ‘cleanse’?!! I cannot imagine you (or me) doing that for a second…. but good luck!!

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