Growing up, I was probably the scrawniest child you can think of. I literally hated food and meal times were dramatic. Me in tears refusing to eat, mummy cajoling, followed by bribery and when she got frustrated, it advanced to downright threatening. Nothing seemed to work; I just hated food, which is so weird now when I think about it. I was quite thin for my age, borderline malnourished (there are lots of embarrassing photos to be shown at my wedding) so I was ill very frequently. A paediatrician advised my mum to focus on what I liked to eat, and just feed me more of that. Mummy said 3 things stood out. Meat, beans and bread. Even though I have outgrown my beef (pun intended) with food, till date, these are my 3 food besties. My mum has jokingly warned me about karma, so there may be a fussy eater in my future. Lord, please, pretty please, I apologise for putting my mother through hell, because I’m not sure I have her patience. Lol.
Being the great cook that my mum is, she thought of many creative ways to make beans (all kinds of beans – soya, black eyed, kidney beans etc.), and sometimes incorporate meat and bread to achieve a balanced diet. So, I have quite a repertoire of beans recipes passed on from my mum, and on discovering myself as a cook, I have come up with a few of my own. One of them I call King Prawn Fried Beans. I got the inspiration from one of my favourite Chinese dishes. You guessed it, King Prawn Fried Rice.
Prep time: 10mins. Cooking time: 30mins – 1hour
So, you will need
Black eyed beans (what you normally find as white beans in local Nigerian markets)
1 Pound of raw King Prawns (de-veined)
1 cup of Smoked Crayfish. Dooney’s Kitchen Tip #1: Crayfish though a flavour booster, it can be quite overpowering in a dish. Like most seafood, prawns have a delicate flavor. When combined with other ingredients, its flavor can be lost, so you have to be careful. 1 cup of crayfish is listed, but depending on how much beans you use further down, you may only need half.
2 Red bell peppers
5 Rodo (scotch bonnet or habanero pepper) – I like this dish spicy
2 Red onions
Seasoning – Jumbo aroma powder (preferred)
So, here we go:
- Rinse the beans and boil with half of 1 chopped red onion and salt. Boil until tender but not mushy
- De-seed the bell peppers, cut up 1 red onion and blend finely with the scotch bonnets. Decant into a saucepan and boil till it reduces to half its volume
- While the pepper mixture is reducing, rinse the crayfish thoroughly and roughly blend with hot water and set aside.
- Heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a deep frying pan and sauté the other half of the chopped red onion till golden brown
- Add the prawns and sprinkle in a teaspoon of Jumbo seasoning. Fry the prawns. You will notice that some of the seasoning will crystalise and brown in the pan. Let it, just don’t allow it to burn
- Fry the prawns till they become pink then add the reduced pepper and continue frying. Fry till it forms a thick sauce. Add salt and adjust for seasoning
- Add 4 or 5 cooking spoons of the boiled beans. Depending on how much pepper you have, you may need more. Dooney’s Kitchen Tip #2: Remember, you need to fry the beans in the pepper so don’t add too much.
- Let the beans fry for 5 – 7minutes, keep turning regularly, but be careful not to break apart the prawns. Dooney’s Kitchen Tip #3: If you have a sufficient pepper to beans ratio, as it fries, pepper will float to the top in between stirs. If it starts to get dry, add a cooking spoon of your crayfish blend
- Once the beans have fried properly in the pepper, turn down the heat, add half of your crayfish blend and give it a stir. Let this cook for a minute or two and taste. Dooney’s Kitchen Tip #4: What you are trying to achieve is a perfect blend of the prawn and crayfish flavour. If you need more crayfish add, but be careful, you still want to taste the prawns. You should know its there, without having to bite into it,
- Let the beans reduce on low heat, till the pepper forms a thick creamy sauce, stir to incorporate the pepper. Add a cooking spoon of chopped parsley and half a cup of sweetcorn/peas (boiled). Leave it on the cooker for about a minute.
So, there you have it. Hot spicy King Prawn Fried Beans
Dooney’s Kitchen Extra Tips
# To reduce the heat, remove the seeds in the Rodo
# Boil the beans before you start. If you would like to include beans on your family menu more frequently (or if you simply want to feed your kids beans often – hey it’s good for them) but the process of picking and boiling the beans deters you. Can I suggest you boil a big batch of beans (I use a pressure cooker), and freeze in meal-sized portions? Simply defrost when you need it. This cuts down your prep and cooking time by more than half.
# King Prawn fried rice was my inspiration, so you could also get inspired and add spring onions, strips of pepper or even shavings of ginger and other Asian inspired ingredients. I’ll love to hear your ideas though. I used Jumbo aroma powder which is already packed full of flavour from various ingredients, so I wanted to keep it simple.
This is my first food fusion post, and I’m tagging it East meets 9ja. In the coming weeks I’m going to be blogging about food fusions from other regions. I’ve had a huge food shop recently, and based on what’s in my freezer and store my options are Italian (oooh, I have loads of recipes on that), French, British, some American Classics and Spanish. I discussed Food Shopping HERE. With my next food shop, I’m planning to expand to include Indian, Morrocan (all those tagines and keftas), Japanese and Thai. So keep coming back.
To my new readers, a very big welcome.