how to make panko crusted prawns

  1. I had a refrigerator full of food. But little of it was fit for consumption by either humans or many other carbon-based life forms.
  2. I had absolutely zero desire to submit myself to a grocery store full of Southerners stricken with pre-snow hysteria, forming lines longer than Crystal Gale's hair.

So when Sunday came around and the snow started falling, me and the beau hit the near-deserted streets and headed to the Dekalb Farmer's Market.

Thanks to the 'blizzard', the Farmers Market was more calm than usual, so I took my time sniffing, examining, and exploring all the fresh and exotic wares. Just before checking off the last item on my list, I caught sight of a great deal. Huge, whole, head-on shrimp (so huge I decided to promote them to prawn status) for 4.99/lb. I was a bit daunted by the look of the alien heads with long antennae, but not enough to pass up such a bargain. Plus, I thought it'd make for good presentation to cook a couple with the heads / antennae intact.

Here's how I handled the little monsters.

I wanted to keep the flavors and the prep simple, yet complement the freshness of the prawns, so I went with a sort of Latin / Asian fusion approach.

Ingredients:

1 lb of prawns, shelled and deveined (left the tails on all, and the heads on 2-3)

fresh lime

minced garlic - about 1.5 Tbsp

panko bread crumbs

cornstarch

chopped green onions

chili oil

canola oil for frying

Inspiration:

Looking out of the kitchen window and seeing the snow falling put me in a really chill state of mind. Contemplating the Asian flavors to come, I thought of how the color white is a symbol of death in Japanese culture, and lamented the fact that the snow - pretty as it was on the lawn - probably wouldn't last to the next day. The following poetic phrase popped into my mind:

bits of kamikaze sky

are dying silent, beautiful deaths

on my front lawn

Preparation:

After steeling myself to handle the truly weird-looking crustaceans (I now understand why shrimp are called the 'cockroaches of the sea'), I peeled and deveined all but three, leaving the tails on all of them.

panko-prawns-prep

In a medium-sized bowl, I squeezed the juice of 2 limes, added the minced garlic, then tossed the peeled prawns in the mixture. I let