Live prawns – those which are still swimming in the tank – were on promotion last week when I was shopping at the supermarket. I could not miss the opportunity to buy some live prawns home to make a really fresh dish of steamed prawns. Those live prawns always get my attention each time I go shopping since I like looking at live and fresh food a lot. But live and fresh foods, for the most part, are kind of luxurious stuffs in a country where most of the foods are imported from other countries.
These steamed prawns are very simple to make and very flavorful. It is a good way to make the best taste and texture out of live prawns. My mom often prepared this dish each time I visited home because I hardly could afford cooking this food here.
Ingredients for this dish are simple and typical in Vietnamese cuisine. You need live prawns, lemon grass stalks, lime leaves (or pomelo leaves are also possible), and fresh ginger root. For two of us, 15 medium-large prawns is enough. I recommend only live prawns for this steaming dish, otherwise the food is not goot any more and you may feel fishy taste out of the chilled / frozen prawns.
In the photo below are the prawns – which were still able to jump out of the steamer. Just combine the prawns together with shredded ginger, some lime leaves and shreded lemon grass. Remember to put some lemon grass into the water as well, so that during steaming time, the boiling water brings lemon grass fragrance into the prawns as well.
Prawns are very fast to cook, and make sure you do not overcook the prawns.
Serving these prawns with chili sauce – very simple but very tasty.