I love Asian or Asian-fusion dishes. Who doesn’t? They offer a lot of flavour and variety. But one needs to be careful, as these dishes (depending on who makes it) can often be loaded with unhealthy fats, salt and sometimes MSG. At least when you make food at home, you know what goes into it (unlike at a restaurant or in a takeaway) and hopefully have some control over what you make add to your meal. This dish is simple and easy to make, and my version of a lightly satay sauced Asian prawn stirfry. If you don’t like prawns (then we can’t be friends – jokes) or if you are allergic to them, then this dish works well with chicken, beef or tofu.
Prawns (or shrimp if you are in the States) are one of my favourite proteins and seafood varieties. They are so quick and easy to cook in a healthy way, and are fairly neutral in flavour, making them extremely diverse when it comes to cooking. Prawns are a complete protein, meaning they contain all nine essential amino acids. There is also approximately 25g of protein per 100g. Most small packs of raw prawns are 150 – 160g, enough for two of you if you are not looking to eat a massive meal, so you’d be getting 18-20g of protein each. They are also fairly low in calories, about half the amount of chicken and almost three times less than beef, so a good option if you are trying to shed some weight or keep things light.
Prawns are also rich in selenium, a mineral which plays an important role in thyroid function and the metabolism. It also acts as an antioxidant which helps to destroy free radicals, partly responsible for cell damage (1). Other vitamins and minerals it contains includes niacin, vitamin B6, 12, zinc, phosphorous, copper and magnesium. Prawns do also contain cholesterol, and a lot of people tend to avoid eating them too often because of this. However, this is not actually a problem as they are very low in total fat, and have virtually no saturated fat (which is what can drive up cholesterol levels in the blood – not actual cholesterol) (2).
Pair this tasty protein with a homemade Asian-style sauce, a load of stir-fry veg and steamed rice, and you have yourself a really tasty, healthy dish. I hope you enjoy it.
Recipe details for Asian Prawn Stir-fry
Serving size: Serves 2
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow pepper, sliced
- 1 red onion, sliced into large segments
- 1/2 – 1 pack Broccolini
- 2 handfuls pak choi or spinach
- 1 handful mung bean sprouts
- 1 handful baby corn or mange tout/snap peas (optional)
- 1/2 lemon or lime juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1-2 Tbsp light Soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp peanut or almond butter
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 lime, squeezed
- Optional – 50ml light coconut milk. (I don’t usually add this)
Starch and protein
- 1 cup uncooked rice (for 2 people)
- 2 cups water
- 1 punnet (150g) raw prawns
- Dried or fresh chilli
- 1/2 squeezed lemon or lime
Step 1: Start cooking your rice as this will take the most amount of time. Bring 2 cups of water to the boil, then add in a small pinch of salt (optional). Reduce heat to a simmer and add in 1 cup of rice. (if you want less, add 2/3rds rice to 1.5 cups water). Simmer for 17-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until cooked.
Step 2: While the rice is cooking, you can start making your sauce. Add all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix.
Step 3: Next, prep your Asian stir-fry veg and prawns. Chop up your veg into long strips or whichever way you prefer. Heat up a wok or frying pan, add your sauce and cook for 1 minute, then add in your veg and cook for a further 8 – 10 minutes until cooked.
Step 4: For the prawns, squeeze some lemon or lime and sprinkle with dried chilli flakes (or fresh if you prefer). Cook in a small pan for roughly 2 minutes or until they turn orange. Don’t cook for too long passed orange as they will overcook really quickly.
Step 5: Once your rice, veg and prawns are all cooked, add your prawns into the Asian stir-fry mix, and serve this over the rice.