Shaoxing Rice Wine Prawns

Shaoxing or yellow wine is a fragrant, mellow, rich wine that gives seafood a special taste and aromatic flavour. River prawns in Eastern China are sometimes cooked in Shaoxing rice wine in a simple recipe that produces a delicious treat.

This dish makes a good opener for any meal.

Ingredients

  • 450 g (1 lb) raw prawns
  • 1 tablespoon groundnut oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh root ginger
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions
  • 1 fresh red or green chilli, seeded and finely shredded
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

For the Garnish

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander

Method

Peel the prawns and, if you are using large uncooked ones, cut them to remove the fine digestive cord. Wash them and pat them dry with kitchen paper.

Heat a wok or large frying-pan over a high heat until it is hot. Add the oil and, when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the garlic, ginger, spring onions and chilli and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Then add the prawns and continue to stir-fry for 1 minute. Then add the Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry, salt and pepper, turn the heat down, cover and cook for 3 minutes. Place on a warm platter and garnish with spring onions and coriander and serve at once.

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