Caril de camarão com quiabos – Macanese curried prawns and okra

Macanese cooking takes the best of Portuguese, Indian, African, Southeast Asian and Chinese cuisines to create a delicious blend of flavours that reflect the unique heritage of this southern Chinese region. Here, prawns and okra are simmered in a sauce flavoured with curry powder, peanuts, tomatoes and onions for a fantastic dish that's bursting with fragrance.

First published in 2019






Begin by preparing the prawns. Keeping the heads on, peel and devein the prawns, reserving the shells. Place the peeled prawns in the fridge for later, then place the reserved shells in a saucepan with a tablespoon of the oil and gently toast until coloured. Pour over 600ml of water, bring to the boil and cook for 30 minutes to create a stock. Strain the stock through a fine sieve – you will need 400ml for this recipe
Heat the remaining grapeseed oil in a large pan and add the spring onions, red onion and shallots. Cook for 4 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent
Turn down the heat, then add the butter and cook until lightly browned. Add the chillies, ginger and curry powder and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes until fragrant
  • 3 tbsp of butter
  • 3 red chillies, small, finely chopped
  • 1 knob of ginger, 3cm in length, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp madras curry powder
Add the peanuts and tomatoes, fry for a few minutes then add the okra. Increase the heat and cook for 3–4 minutes, then add 400ml of the prawn stock and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook the sauce, stirring occasionally, until thickened
Add the prawns to the pan, increase the heat and stir them through the sauce for 2–3 minutes, making sure the heads don’t break off the bodies
To serve, pour the prawns and the sauce onto a serving platter, arranging the okra around the rim. Garnish with the coriander, sliced chillies and peanuts and serve immediately with the cooked coconut rice

For a chef, having mentors like Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Ferran Adrià must be akin to taking music classes with Chopin and Brahms. Nuno Mendes' London restaurant demonstrates the qualities of ambition that most good protégés possess.

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