Shanghai spicy king prawns

Gary Rhodes cooks this favoured Shangainese dish of spicy king prawns with minced pork and rice wine
By Gary Rhodes
Shanghai spicy king prawns
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 6 king prawns, de-veined, shell on
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 50 g ginger, finely chopped
  • 50 g garlic, finely chopped
  • 100 g pork belly, skin removed, diced
  • 3 tbsp tomato purée
  • 3 tbsp chilli paste
  • 50 ml shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 600 ml chicken stock
  • ½ tsp chicken bouillon powder
  • 120 ml fermented rice wine
  • 1 tbsp cornflour, mixed with 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp fermented rice
  • 1 tsp aged vinegar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

To serve

  • 50 ml chilli oil
  • sliced spring onions
  • preserved chillies
  • celery leaf or coriander, leaf, to garnish


1. Dust the prawns with cornflour. Heat a dash of vegetable oil in a wok, then fry the prawns for 3-4 minutes, or until golden-brown and cooked through. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.

2. Wipe the wok clean and heat the peanut oil, then stir-fry the ginger and garlic for 2-3 minutes, or until golden-brown. Add the chopped pork belly and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until lightly browned.

3. Add the tomato puree and chilli paste and fry for one minute, then stir in the cooked prawns. Push the prawns to one side, then deglaze the wok with the Shaoxing rice wine.

4. Pour in enough stock to half-cover the prawns, then season with the chicken powder, salt, sugar and white pepper. Stir in the fermented rice wine, then cook for 6-8 minutes, ladling the liquid over the prawns every few minutes.

5. Pour in the cornflour paste and mix well into the cooking liquid to thicken. Add the remaining fermented rice grains, then sprinkle over the aged vinegar. Add a dash of sesame oil, then remove from the heat.

6. Pile the prawns onto a serving plate and sprinkle with chilli oil and sliced spring onions. Garnish with Chinese celery leaf, and serve.

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