Monday, 2 July 2012

Pan Fried Prawns

If you have read my post on Stir Fry Roast Pork with Chives, I mentioned that my mum cooked regularly for the family when we were growing up. Because she also worked full time, time was not a luxury she had in the kitchen. So mum became an expert on wokking up dishes that require minimal ingredients.   One of our all-time favourite dishes is this Pan Fried Prawns. 

On paper, this dish seems super easy.  It has only 3 ingredients (yes! another 3 ingredients dish), and the total time to whip this up (prep time and actual cooking) is less than 20 minutes. 

But as with many Asian (or Chinese dishes), this one is deceivingly easy *wicked grin*.  This dish rides on two things : 1. super fresh prawns.  2. loads of ginger, hot oil and good quality soy sauce to infuse with the prawn juices. 

There are also two critical steps that will make or break this dish.  #1 is to make sure the prawns are WELL DRAINED.  Soggy prawns will ruin this.  #2 is to control the heat/wok fire.  Do these right, and you will have an awesome dish.

I am labelling this post as a 5 ingredients or less category, inspired by a comment made by Audrey in my previous post.  Thanks for that "lightbulb" moment, Audrey!  This will also be tagged under Mum's fuss free specials to give due credit to my sifu!

Pan Fried Prawns

  • 600g large fresh prawns
  • 1 LARGE knob of young ginger, sliced thinly (don't worry about using too much ginger, the more the better as long as it is young ginger)
  • 1 1/2 tbspn of premium soy sauce
1.  Rinse the prawns and trim off the feelers, legs and half the head (only up to the eyes).  DO NOT break off the entire head.  Drain the prawns thoroughly and do not rinse after this. 
2.  Heat 2 tbspn of oil on medium to high heat.  Add the ginger slices and fry until golden and fragrant. 
Big knob of young ginger
3.  Add in the prawns and DO NOT stir or toss.  Maintain the fire on high heat.  If the prawns are thoroughly drained, it should sizzle merrily.  Leave the prawns to cook for about 3-4 minutes, then gently flip to the other side, and let it be for another 2-3 minutes. 
4.  By now the hot oil should have turned bright orange and it should have separated from the sauce. 

5.  Give the prawns a quick toss, switch off the fire and pour in the soy sauce.  Make sure you turn off the fire before pouring the soy sauce, else the heat would cause the soy sauce to evaporate.  Dish and serve immediately.
This dish is best served hot straight from the wok.  Cooking it in advance would not do it justice as the prawn meat would shrink and turned chewy once cooled and the whole dish would lose its "kick".  As added flavour, I topped it with loads of chopped chinese parsley stems, simply because we love the flavour.  This is optional.  You could also garnish with spring onion.


  1. That's it? I'm TOTALLY trying this! We love prawns and any easy recipe will be so helpful in my busy household with two kids. =) Thanks so much for this recipe in advance. ;-)

  2. LOL, yes Nami, wonderful isnt it? So simple. I hope your family will like this!

  3. I am quite hopeless when in comes to seafood. But this looks simple enough and maybe this could be my learning point.

  4. What a gorgeous picture of your prawn dish. This is a regular dish for me. I die for any prawn dish.

  5. Hi Phong, yes, do try this, it is not difficult, just make sure you control the heat well. Enjoy!

    Hi Veron, another prawn lover here! Yay!


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