Sichuan sweet chilli prawns

The tongue-tingling flavours of Sichuan come alive in Ching-He Huang's recipe for spicing up prawns
By Ching-He Huang
Sichuan sweet chilli prawns
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the sauce

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

For the prawns

  • 1 egg
  • 100 g potato starch
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 600 ml groundnut oil, plus 1 tbsp
  • 12 large tiger prawns, deveined
  • 1 tbsp sichuan peppercorns
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 inch fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lime juice

To finish

  • 2 spring onions, chopped diagonally into 2cm/1in pieces
  • 1 small handful coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lime juice

To serve

  • steamed jasmine rice


1. For the sauce: mix all of the sauce ingredients together in a bowl, then set aside.

2. For the prawns: mix the egg, potato flour and water together in a bowl to form a smooth batter. Set aside.

3. Heat a wok over a high heat and add 600ml of the groundnut oil. Heat the oil until a cube of bread dropped in turns golden-brown in 15 seconds.

4. Dip each prawn into the batter and lower each one, one by one, into the oil. (It is best to do this in two batches so the temperature of the oil doesn't drop too much.) Fry the prawns for 3-4 minutes, or golden-brown and cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

5. Heat a small wok or pan and add the tablespoon of groundnut oil. As the wok starts to smoke, add the Sichuan peppercorns and stir for a few seconds, or until aromatic, then add the garlic, ginger, chilli and stir-fry for a few more seconds.

6. Add the sauce ingredients and bring to the boil. Add the lime juice, followed by the spring onions and chopped coriander. Remove from the heat.

7. To serve, place the prawns onto a serving plate and pour over the sauce. Serve with bowls of steamed jasmine rice.

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