Singapore-style prawns

A sweet spiced sauce perks up prawns in this quick dish from Jason Atherton
By Jason Atherton
Singapore-style prawns
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • groundnut oil, for deep-frying
  • 700-800 g large prawns, in their shells
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 5 cm piece ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 1 pinches fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp black bean paste
  • 4 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 4 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar, optional)
  • 250 ml chicken stock
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 small handfuls coriander, shoots and/or leaves, to garnish


1. Heat a 5-6cm depth of groundnut oil in a large wok (or a large, wide pan) until hot. Add the prawns and fry for 2 minutes, turning occasionally until the flesh turns opaque. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

2. Ladle out the excess oil from the wok, leaving about 4 tbsp behind. Add the onion with the garlic, ginger, chilli, salt and pepper and stir-fry for a few minutes until starting to soften. Add the bean paste, chilli sauce, tomato ketchup and tomatoes. Cook for a minute or two, stirring frequently. Tip in the sesame oil, soy sauce and sugar, if using. Mix well.

3. Pour in the stock, then return the prawns to the wok. Increase the heat to high and stir in the beaten egg and cornflour mixture. Cook, stirring continuously, for another 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens.

4. Transfer the prawns to warm plates, spooning over the sauce. Garnish with coriander and serve. Eat with your fingers and bread to mop up the delicious sauce.

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