Shaoxing-Marinated King Prawns

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Balance and Harmony

By Neil Perry

Published 2008

  • About

This involves stir-frying, boiling and steaming; all the elements are at work. You need to cook the prawns with the shell on so you can pick them up with your fingers and suck on them. This really simple dish works well for a shared table as it takes no time at all.


  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) green king prawns (shrimp)
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) shaoxing
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil

Dipping Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons yellow bean soy sauce
  • 3 small wild green chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 spring onion (scallion), cut into julienne
  • ½ knob of ginger, peeled and cut into julienne


Mix together the dipping sauce ingredients and 1 tablespoon water.

Remove the legs from the prawns and then use a small sharp knife or a pair of scissors to make a shallow incision along the length of the belly of each prawn, but don’t peel or remove the heads. Marinate the prawns in the shaoxing for 10 minutes.

Heat a wok until just smoking. Add the peanut oil and, when hot, remove the prawns from the marinade and add to the wok. Stir-fry for 1 minute, then pour in the marinade and simmer until the wine evaporates and the prawns are cooked. Pile the prawns onto a plate and serve with the dipping sauce.