One of the most popular restaurant dishes throughout China. Prawns are left whole. The secret of the dish is to have all the ingredients ready before starting and cooking over a very hot heat, very quickly. If the prawns are overcooked they become rubbery. Serve with lots of serviettes or finger bowls. The size of the prawns is not important, although smaller prawns are crunchier as the skin is thinner and therefore more palatable.2

±1kg whole prawns
Oil for deep frying

1T oil
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
4 spring onions, finely chopped
±1T ginger, finely chopped
1-3 red chillies, seeded and finely chopped
3T soy sauce
1T sweet soy sauce
1T rice wine
1-2T rice vinegar
2T chilli bean paste
2T sugar, dissolved in 2T chicken stock
1/2t roasted sesame oil
1T cornflour, mixed in ±1/4 cup water

Coriander leaves for garnish

  1. Trim the prawn legs, and de-vein if necessary by slitting along the back carefully and pulling out the vein.
  2. Add about 6cm of oil into a wok and heat to high. Cook the prawns in batches so as not to overcrowd the wok, until they just turn a bright pink, then remove and drain, allowing the oil to return to temperature after each batch.
  3. Either drain the wok of oil or in another wok, heat and then add the tablespoon of oil. When very hot, add the garlic, spring onions, ginger and chillies, and stir fry for 30 seconds, ensuring that they do not burn.
  4. Immediately add the 2 soy sauces, rice wine, rice vinegar, bean paste, sugar mixture and chillies, and bring to the boil. Cook for ±1 minute.
  5. Add the prawns and roasted sesame oil, and cook for ±1 minute.
  6. Add the cornflour paste and cook until the sauce is thickened – ±1-2 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with coriander leaves and serve immediately.

Serves 6

Wickedfood Cooking School

Sunninghill – (011) 234-3252

Wickedfood Cooking School runs Johannesburg cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built cooking studios. Cooking lessons are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). The venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – team building cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference.

Our cooking courses are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and teambuilding cooking classes these events are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.