Sichuan sweet and sour prawns

Potato flour batter is the key to Ching He-Huangs wonderfully light and crispy battered king prawns, served alongside a tangy sweet sauce
By Ching-He Huang
Sichuan sweet and sour prawns
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2-4 to share
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the sauce

  • 200 ml hot water
  • 5 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp cornflour

For the prawns

  • 1 egg
  • 100 g potato flour, or corn flour
  • groundnut oil, for deep frying, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 12 large raw tiger prawns, head and shell off, tail on, and deveined
  • 1 tbsp sichuan peppercorns
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2.5 cm root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 medium red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 spring onions, chopped at an angle into 2.5cm pieces
  • 1 small handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped

Tips and Suggestions

You know the prawns are done when the tail turns pink and the batter is golden brown


1. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a pyrex jug and set aside.

2. For the prawns: put the egg, potato flour or cornflour and about 2 tablespoons of water into a bowl and mix to make a batter.

3. Heat the groundnut oil in a wok set over a high heat.

4. Dip each prawn into the batter, and fry in the hot oil until golden its best to do this in batches. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper.

5. Heat a small wok or pan over a high heat and when hot add 1 tablespoon of groundnut oil. As soon as the oil starts to smoke, add the Sichuan peppercorns and stir-fry for a few seconds before adding the garlic, ginger and chillies - stir-fry for a few more seconds.

6. Add the sauce you made earlier to the stir-fry pan and bring to the boil. Stir in the lime juice, spring onions and coriander and remove from the heat and coat over the prawns.

7. Serve with rice - egg-fried rice makes a good match.

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