Salt and Pepper Prawns

  • Yield: 4 servings

To keep the prawns crisp and juicy, flash-fry the shellfish right before serving. Also try pairing with steamed rice and long beans for a complete meal.


2pounds large prawns, peeled, deveined and butterflied (shell may be left on if desired)
2tablespoons cornstarch
1teaspoon ground white pepper
Canola oil for deep-frying
1/4cup minced green onions
2tablespoons minced ginger
3cloves garlic, minced
1 red Fresno chili, seeded and minced
1teaspoon five spice powder
1teaspoon salt
1/4teaspoon sugar
1/4teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon salt and white pepper and set aside. In another small bowl, combine the green onion, ginger, garlic, chili, and five spice powder. In a third small bowl, combine the remaining salt, sugar, and black pepper and set all aside. 
  2. Right before serving, fill a wok or deep pan with 3 inches of canola oil. Heat the oil over medium high heat to 375F on a deep-fry thermometer. Once the oil is ready, working in 2 batches, toss the prawns in the cornstarch mixture, shake off the excess and slide the prawns into the oil. Fry until light golden brown and until the shrimp just turns orange, 15 to 20 seconds. Use a wire skimmer to transfer the shrimp to a baking sheet double lined with paper towels. Allow the oil to reheat and fry the second batch.
  3. Heat a separate wok or a large sauté pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and stir-fry the green onion and chili mixture until fragrant, several seconds. While continuously stirring, add the salt, sugar and black pepper mixture. Return the flash-fried shrimp to the pan stir-fry until the shrimp are well-coated with the spice seasoning  and heated through. Transfer the shrimp to a warmed serving platter and serve immediately.

Recipe by Farina Kingsley of Farina’s Asian Pantry