Spicy Prawn Canapes

Canapés are hors d’oeuvres made with a base of bread or crackers, and topped with an assortment of small, usually savory toppings. Typically, they are served before dinner in a drawing room or lounge area, along with an assortment of other appetizers. Most cooks and caterers produce an assortment of canapés, so that guests can try out numerous different flavors. Canapés may also be used as a standalone food item, in the case of things like receptions for any small functions catering for a small group of people.

The base of all canapés is some type of bread. Traditionally, canapés have been made with stale white bread which is toasted, sauteed, or fried to turn it golden and crispy. Crackers may also be used for modern canapés. The bread is cut out in a geometric shape, commonly a square, although triangles, circles, rectangles, and other shapes may be used. Some caterers use their shapes as a code, so that they can readily distinguish between different canapés when asked about them by guests. The flavor of canapés is rarely neutral. Most often, they are made salty or spicy so that they complement the drinks being served with them. They may be served hot or cold, and are intended to be eaten with the fingers from a canapé plate, a small dish which holds each guest's individual . canapés. Large platters of canapés to choose from may be carried around a party or laid out on large buffet tables.The asian way would be to serve on a banana leaf or even turmeric leaf which will give out a nice aroma to your canapés.
I have substituted the bread with rice for an Asian twist.Compact circles of rice make fabulous canapé bases-the best being glutinous rice ,since it is sticky and can be shaped easily .Garnish this with a variety of savoury toppings to impress your guests!

For the rice base:
300gm glutinous rice
2 screwpine leaves(knotted)
75ml thick coconut milk
100ml hot water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar(optional)
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 red chilli, seeded and chopped
1 small stalk spring onion, finely sliced
1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
(source for the rice base :Bernas:her world)

Prawn Sambal:
300gm medium prawns
4 fresh red chillies
6 shallots
1 clove garlic
1 stalk lemon grass
5g shrimp paste
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp lime juice (or more)
2 calamansi leaves(sliced thinly)
Salt taste

For the rice:
Wash rice in several changes of water until water runs clear.Cover with fresh water and soak overnight or for at least 4 hours.
Drain rice and place in a shallow container with pandan leaves.Steam over rapidly boiling water for 20mins.
Stir together thick coconut milk,hot water,salt and sugar,turmeric powder until seasonings are dissolved.Remove rice from steamer and pour coconut milk mixture over rice.Stir until liquid has been absorbed into the rice.
Return rice to steamer and cook for another 20mins or until rice is tender and glossy.
Remove from steamer ,cool 10mins and stir in chopped chilli and herbs.
Divide rice into 3 equal portions and form each one into a thick sausage shape.Wrap rolls tightly in a plastic or banana leaves, securing both ends to ensure rice is compact.Close to serving time,cut rice rolls in 2cm slices and top with a spicy prawn.

For the sambal:
Shell prawns, leaving the tails intact (if preferred ).Finely grind red chillies,shallots,garlic,lemon grass, and shrimp paste . Adding water if necessary.
Heat oil in wok, add ground ingredients ,cooking over low heat, stirring constantly until oil separates.Add prawns and cook further.Finally add in lime juice and calamansi leaves, salt and sugar.Cook for another 2-3 mins and turn off heat.

Am submitting Tom Yum Seafood Fried Rice, Spicy Prawn Canapes and Curried Fried Rice to 'My Monthly Mingle’ event started from Meeta’s MM and now hosted by Cookingandme with the theme of Ravishing Rice.

The above recipe is my contribution to the event Think Spice-Think Turmeric Nov 2009 started by Sunita and at present hosted by Bengali Cuisine


  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  2. I liek the idea of using glutinous rice as canapes!



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