Kung pou or kung pao sauce is a soy sauce based gravy with a tinge of sourness. It is a very appetizing and delicious sauce. Deep fried mantis prawns in kung pou sauce is one of the more popular dishes In Chinese restaurants in Malaysia and Singapore.
How to clean or peel mantis prawns?
Cleaning mantis prawn begins with removing its shell. Peeling the shell can be quite tricky as it comes with sharp spines. Besides, the meat is very tender too. The best way to clean mantis prawns is to use a pair of kitchen scissors. Cut the sides of the shell and then remove the bottom part of it. Proceed to cut off the head of the mantis prawn. Then, lay it on a board/plate to carefully remove the top shell and gently pull the meat off the tail. The meat from the tail should slide off easily. Rinse the gut away. Watch the whole process here.
How does mantis prawns taste like?
Mantis prawns taste like a mixture of lobster and crab. The meat is tender and undeniably sweet.
Where can I buy mantis prawns?
They can be found at your local fish market, even in Europe. I bought mine from Germany although it is said to be from Italy. Mantis prawns are also found in Spain and used as an ingredient in paella. Otherwise, they may also be found at the frozen section of the Asian grocer.
Can I use regular prawns or squids?
Of course. If regular prawns or squids are used, they are usually not deep fried. Just add it to the pan right after sautéing garlic, ginger and dried chillies. In fact, you can also use chicken, if that's your preference. Kung pou gravy is very versatile and goes well with different types of meat.