Turning porcelain and stoneware into objects that are not only useful but also beautiful is an art that has been with us for centuries. The world’s great plate makers are not stuck in history, though: they are listening carefully to what we want in terms of ease, functionality, and mood. We explored some of the most stunning plate designs with Rafael Vencio, stylist, cook, urban farmer, and TABLE contributor.
Mottahedeh’s world-famous Tobacco Leaf design deploys over two dozen colors in its adaptation of a late 18th-century Chinese export-ware pattern. Mildred Mottahedeh, who developed the pattern with dishwasher-safe golden touches, liked it because it has “dash and verve.” Rafael felt the energy too, creating a lively prawn and fried noodle dish that tastes every bit as good as it looks.
Wonton Noodle-Wrapped Prawn Lettuce Wrap Recipe
1 lb prawns or any large wild-caught shrimp, about 8 to 12 pieces
1 tbsp kosher salt
Bamboo skewers, soaked overnight
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp curry powder
2 cups frying oil, or as needed
1 small bag fresh wonton noodles
1 large head Boston or Bibb lettuce
2 large jalapeños, sliced
1 ripe avocado
1 small bunch fresh radishes, sliced
Cilantro for garnish
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
4 small Kirby cucumbers, sliced
Microgreens, for garnish
1 bottle sesame ginger dressing, or anything similar that you prefer
- Peel and devein prawns (heads can remain or be removed depending on preference). Season with salt, pepper, and curry powder.
- Skewer through with bamboo keeping the prawn straight, cut off excess bamboo leaving a short handle. Bundle and straighten a small bunch of wonton noodles and wrap them around each prawn.
- Heat oil at around 350 to 380 degrees for frying; shallow-fry prawns in batches, being careful not to crowd the pan.
- Fry each side for at least 4 minutes and the noodles are deep golden brown. You can cut one open and check for doneness.
Place a prawn on a couple of lettuce leaves and top with avocadoes, jalapenos, radishes, cilantro, toasted sesame, cucumbers, and microgreens. Drizzle dressing as desired.
Photography by Dave Bryce / Story by Keith Recker / Recipe and Styling by Rafael Vencio / Dinnerware Courtesy of Mottahedeh
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