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Sweet and Sour Prawns Recipe 甜酸虾

Saturday, October 09, 2010 | Labels: , , , |

This is my family's tried and tested method of cooking for sweet and sour dishes.  Credit has to be given to my mom (she loves sweet and sour dishes!) as she is the one who came up with this final recipe after trying out different ways of cooking sweet and sour dishes.  Today's feature is sweet and sour prawns but you can use this method of cooking for all kinds of seafood like crab, squid and fish.  The prawns are lightly marinated in salt then shallow instead of deep-fried (for the best texture) and then stir-fried in a delightfully appetising vinegary sauce mixed with fragrant minced garlic, red peppers and ginger.


This is a vibrantly colourful and delicious dish - not to mention auspicious as well since 虾 (prawn) is also the same pronounciation as laughter in Chinese, hence this is a choice dish during festive occasions especially during Chinese New Year.



25 large prawns (heads & shells on) - in my opinion, prawns are much more fragrant cooked with shells and heads on
Salt to marinate the prawns lightly
Enough oil for shallow-frying the prawns
5 cloves black garlic, minced
4 slices of ginger, sliced thinly
3-4 red chilli peppers, sliced thinly (you may opt to use seeded ones if your tolerance level for spiciness is not high)

For the sauce:

1/2 bowl of ketchup
2-4 tbsps of sugar (or to taste)
1 tbsp soy sauce (or to taste)
1/2 tbsp white vinegar (or to taste)



First, shallow fry the prawns after marinating lightly with salt until prawns are lightly cooked - try not to overcook prawns as the rubbery texture of overcooked prawns are not very appetising (to me!). The length of time it takes for the prawns to be cooked of course depends on the size of your prawns, but I always prefer mine especially for this step slightly under-cooked rather than over-cooked as the final step involves placing the prawns into the sauce to stir fry around briefly again.

Now, prepare the sauce with the ingredients listed above - in Chinese home cooking, a lot of times, most ingredients are only given in approximates, apparently the mark of a good cook is that there is no need to measure ingredients, one just knows, now although I do operate the same way i.e. I just throw stuff into the pan depending on what feels right, I do think that would not be of much help to my readers. For this sauce, I would highly recommend you to start with a little of the seasonings and add on after tasting each time.

Next, saute the garlic, ginger and red peppers till fragrant - use medium to low heat. Now, pour in the previously prepared sauce and bring to a boil. Quickly add in the previously fried prawns and stir around well to coat evenly. Serve hot.


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noobcook said...

your mum is a very good cook! the sauce looks so yummy, I have to try it out!

Cooking Gallery said...

This dish looks so scrumptious! The red sauce makes it look so appetising. Great dish, especially because I am a prawn-lover :)!

tigerfish said...

Look at the glorious glaze :) Yum!

Dora said...

I love sweet and sour prawns too esp with a bowl of steamed rice. *yum yum*!

pigpigscorner said...

Looks so tasty!

Christine@Christine's Recipes said...

Yummy dish. My mum used to cook this dish on a special day, like New Year Eve.

PeterH said...

The prawns look so huge!

homeladychef said...

i have long forgotten this dish until now, simple and yet so tast, time to revisit it again ya? :)

Cynthia said...

OMG,I am seriously drooling at this!

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) said...

The prawns look gorgeous!!! This is my faovurite dish that I cook often! Thanks for sharing your recipe. Must give it a go soon.

Jen (Tastes of Home) said...

thanks for the kind words everyone! hope you guys will like this recipe :)

Quay Po Cooks said...

I love prawns cooked in any form. Your sweet and sour prawns look awesome. I have printed out the recipe and will cook this weekend!

Jen (Tastes of Home) said...

^ thanks! hope you'll like this recipe!

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