Oriental prawn tartlets

Oriental prawn tartlets


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About this recipe: These pretty little tartlets, filled with stir-fried prawns and a mixture of crisp, colourful vegetables, make a really unusual light snack or a starter for an Asian meal. The filo tartlet cases can be made ahead, but they are best filled just before serving, so the pastry remains crisp.

Norma MacMillan

Serves: 4 

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 3 sheets filo pastry, 30 x 50 cm (12 x 20 in) each, about 90 g (3¼ oz) in total
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh root ginger
  • 1 carrot, cut into fine julienne strips
  • 300 g (10½ oz) peeled raw tiger prawns
  • 75 g (2½ oz) mange-tout, sliced diagonally
  • 1 small head pak choy, about 85 g (3 oz)
  • 75 g (2½ oz) bean sprouts
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • sprigs of fresh coriander to garnish

Prep:45min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:1hr 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6). Mix together the sunflower and sesame oils. Lay the filo pastry sheets out, one on top of the other. Trim the stacked pastry to make a 30 x 40 cm (12 x 16 in) rectangle (discard the excess pastry). Cut it lengthways into 3 and then across into 4, making 10 cm (4 in) squares. You will have 36 squares of filo.
  2. Place 1 filo square in each of the 12 hollows in a non-stick bun tin. Brush very lightly with a little of the oil mixture. Place another square of filo on top, arranging it so the corners are not directly on top of those beneath. Brush with a little more oil, then place a third filo square on top, again with the corners offset. Bake the pastry cases for 5–7 minutes or until they are golden brown and crisp.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil mixture in a wok or large frying pan. Add the garlic, spring onions and ginger, and stir-fry over a moderate heat for about 30 seconds. Add the carrot and stir-fry for 2 minutes, then add the prawns and stir-fry for 2 more minutes or until they turn pink.
  4. Add the mange-tout, pak choy and bean sprouts. Stir-fry over a high heat for 2–3 minutes or until all the vegetables are just tender and the mixture is piping hot. Sprinkle with the soy sauce and toss to mix.
  5. Spoon the prawn and vegetable mixture into the filo pastry cases and serve immediately, garnished with sprigs of coriander.

Plus points

Filo pastry has a lower fat content than other pastries. For example, there are 2 g fat and 275 kcal in 100 g (3 1⁄2 oz) filo pastry compared to 29 g fat and 449 kcal in the same weight of shortcrust pastry. * Prawns are a good source of low-fat protein and the antioxidant mineral selenium as well as an excellent source of vitamin B12. * Mange-tout contain more vitamin C than ordinary garden peas. This is because the pods, which as the name implies are eaten too (‘mange-tout’ means ‘eat all’), make an additional contribution.

Some more ideas

Use peeled prawns instead of tiger prawns. If the prawns are already cooked, add them after stir-frying the vegetables in step 4, and just heat through for 1 minute or so. * For a vegetarian version, replace the prawns with 300 g (10½ oz) chilled, drained tofu, cut into small cubes. Add at the end of step 3 and stir-fry for 2–3 minutes. * Replace the pak choy with other leafy greens such as baby spinach leaves or shredded Chinese leaves. * Try Oriental crab, corn and asparagus tartlets. Instead of sesame oil, mix the sunflower oil with ½ tsp chilli paste. When making the pastry cases, sprinkle lightly between the layered filo squares with 25 g (scant 1 oz) finely chopped peanuts. To make the filling, stir-fry 1 crushed garlic clove, 2 finely chopped shallots and a seeded and finely chopped small hot red chilli in the remaining oil mixture. Stir in 170 g (6 oz) chopped fine asparagus and 100 g (3½ oz) sliced baby corn, and stir-fry for 3–4 minutes or until softened. Add 150 g (5½ oz) fresh or drained, canned white crabmeat and the juice of 1 lime, and stir-fry until hot. Finish by stirring in 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander.

Each serving provides

B12 A, E C, niacin, calcium, copper, iron, * potassium, selenium, zinc

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