Vegetable oil, to deep fry
200g rice flour
500g school prawns
1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus extra wedges to serve
500g long red chillies
1/2 tsp caster sugar
- For the fermented chilli, wash chillies and slice stems off. Roughly chop and mix in a bowl with the sugar and 1 1/2 tsp salt flakes. Place in a food processor and whiz to a fine paste. Place in a sterilised jar, cover with muslin and secure with a rubber band.
- Ferment at room temperature for 5-7 days. Stir daily, as the solids will separate from the liquid. Transfer to a small, sterilised airtight container and store in the fridge. (This batch is far more than you’ll need to serve with the prawns, but it will keep for 6 months in the fridge and is a great condiment for most things).
- To cook the prawns, half-fill a large saucepan with vegetable oil and heat to 180°C on a deep-frying thermometer (or a cube of bread will turn golden in 45 seconds when the oil is hot enough). Place the rice flour in a large bowl and season with salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Toss prawns through the flour to coat. In batches, shake excess flour off the prawns and place in the oil. Cook for 2 minutes or until crisp, being careful as the oil will bubble up. Using a slotted spoon, remove from the oil and drain on paper towel.
- Toss prawns in salt flakes, parsley and lemon zest. Serve with fermented chilli and lemon wedges alongside.