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..Chinese style Spicy King Prawns..

Along with tempura, IMO this dish is one of the best ways to eat king prawns - I've eaten this in Chinese restaurants in Japan since I was a child, so I guess it's ingrained as a Kurumi family favourite . Preparation is pretty minimal - a little marinading, some sauce and some frying - no more than 15 minutes from start to finish. I should point out that I used prepared king prawns in this recipe. If you buy unprepared prawns, the dish will take a little longer as you will need to peel and devein them.

Along with your king prawns, the key ingredient is a jar of Chinese chilli bean sauce or toban djan as it is called in Chinese. You can buy this in most supermarkets these days or if that fails, online or in a Chinese/Asian food store if you have one nearby. I used a Lee Kum Kee brand for this recipe as it doens't contain any MSG or artificial colouring. Taste wise, this is medium/ hot in the range of toban djan sauces I have tried.

Depending on how spicy you like your food, you only need to use a teaspoon or two in this dish but a jar of chilli sauce will keep for a long time in the fridge and once you start using it, you might realise that it's a versatile sauce that you can use to give a spicy boast to lots of other dishes too! (Remember that Japanese dishes are normally quite mild when it comes to spiciness, so don't be afraid to add more toban djan if you want something with extra heat.)

This recipe also uses a little cooking sake for extra richness of flavour but you can miss this if you prefer not to use alcohol. On the other hand, if you have no cooking sake, you can use the same amount of Chinese Shaoxing wine as a substitute.

I usually serve this dish on a bed of lettuce but that isn't obligatory - the dish works perfectly well by itself and paired with bowls of fresh white rice, will make a satisfying tasty seafood dinner or lunch.

If you're in the mood for some Chinese style seafood for dinner or lunch, you can find the Youtube tutorial here or by scrolling to the bottom of the page. The written recipe is just below.

Happy cooking! Kurumi XXXX.



(makes 2 servings)

2 servings

12-14 frozen raw king prawns, peeled & deveined

a little salt

a little pepper

1/2 tbsp potato flour

1 tsp cooking sake or Chinese cooking wine (optional)

1/2 medium onion

1 clove of garlic

1 slice of ginger

for the spicy sauce:

1 tsp toban djan (豆板醤 - Chinese chilli bean sauce)

1 heap tsp soy sauce

1 tsp cooking sake or Chinese cooking wine (optional)

1/2 tbsp sugar

3 tbsp tomato ketchup

1 tsp potato flour

60ml / 2 fl oz water

1.5 tbsp vegetable oil

5 tbsp frozen peas


how to:

rinse the king prawns, then put them in a bowl. season by sprinkling with a little salt and pepper. add 1/2 tbsp of potato flour & 1 tsp of cooking sake over the prawns. mix well before setting aside.

chop the onion, garlic & ginger finely then set that aside too.

next, prepare your spicy sauce. combine the toban djan, soy sauce, cooking sake, sugar, tomato ketchup, 1 tsp of potato flour & water in a bowl. mix well.

heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a frying pan. add the onion, garlic & ginger and stir fry for 1 - 2 mins or until the onion is soft.

add another 1/2 tbsp of vegetable oil to the frying pan then, add the prawns & peas and stir fry for 2-3 mins or until the prawns are cooked.

now add the spicy sauce to the frying pan. stir fry for another 1- 2 mins or until the sauce has thickened.

your Chinese style Spicy King Prawns are ready for the table. serve with fresh, steamed bowls of rice.


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