A few weeks ago, Steve Fox‘s name was drawn as the winner of my blog birthday giveaway. I say, his emails have had me in stitches, especially the letter he sent when he tried the jar of Tean’s Crispy Prawn Chilli. I have his permission to quote from his email here. You may remember that I compared this savoury condiment to crack (though I myself have no experience with the substance, I reckon crispy prawn chilli must be as addictive as I imagine drugs to be)…

… And whilst, having never actually tried crack, I can’t confirm the literal accuracy of your claim, I’m prepared to accept that you have, in essence – and to misquote the laureate that is George Clinton – nailed that mutha!

As you may have gathered, I’m rather impressed by that there jar of crispy chili prawns. I started by tossing a couple of teaspoonsful into a pan of butterflied Tigers, blasted with garlic, ginger, nam pla, lemon juice and a wee bit of sweet chili sauce. The usual suspects.

But – whoo, baby! What’s going on in that jar?! Straaaange chemistry. I know what a few prawns fried in the aforementioned taste like – it’s Snack Number Two on my all-time Snack List. But this new ingredient is like the Flavour Motherlode. It makes things, well, more. It made those Tiger prawns prawnier, the ginger gingerier, the nam pla saucier – y’get the idea. And the juices…! Once the prawns were gone (less time than it takes to read this email), the detritus in the bowl looked like an accident in a chemistry lab – but the taste…

I had to rustle up some noodles t’pour the juices over. And then I had to make some more prawns – although, due to poor Prawn Management, I had no more prawns. So I just made the original mixture without prawns, added some miso and drank it.

A spoonful from the jar is a wee bit too much for my tastebuds, but damn near every combination I’ve tried works – noodles, pasta, as a dip, crackers, all the obvious stuff.

And then the benchmark – what does it do t’cheese on toast? (Number One on the Snack List since 1979)

The answer – (very) nearly everything! Only Worcestershire Sauce comes close – and there can be no greater praise in the Umami Lexicon.

You heard it from Steve first! Crispy prawn chilli cheese toast! Somebody, give this man a blog! Thank you, Steve, for your brilliant emails!

If you’re looking for a jarful yourself, take a look online. You can find it at the Wing Yip store or sold through Wing Yip on Amazon.