Crispy Salt and Pepper Prawns recipe with a light, airy, non-greasy coating! Perfect as a starter or serves with steamed rice or stir fry noodles and make it a delicious meal.
One of the most popular restaurant dishes you can find in all most all Chinese and Oriental restaurants. It’s quite an expensive dish and you will get only a small amount when you order from takeout and restaurants. Whenever we ordered takeout, my family never seems to have enough, so I tried to make large batches at home. I’ve learned this recipe from my friend, who was a Chinese chef, it becomes our family’s favourite crispy prawn recipe. Hope you enjoy making it too!
Chinese Salt and Pepper Prawns
Chinese-style crispy salt and pepper dishes are famous in UK Chinese takeaways and restaurants. Coated prawns, chicken, squid, or chips are fried to crispy and tossed with vegetables and seasoning mix.
How to make Chinese salt and pepper seasoning mix? You can simply mix the same amount of salt, white or black pepper, Chinese five spices powder. Add chicken powder or msg in the powder mix if you want to taste exactly like your favourite takeout.
You can make an extra seasoning mix and keep it in an airtight container for future use. I love to add this seasoning mix in my stir-fries too.
How to make Salt and Chilli Prawns: If you are a Salt and Chilli fan, add about half a teaspoon of dry crushed chill flakes and fresh chilli slices after the onions. Adjust the chilli amount according to your taste.
Sichuan Style Salt and Chilli Prawns: To make it Sichuan style crispy prawns, add the same amount of crushed Sichuan peppercorn in the seasoning powder mixture. As Sichuan peppercorns have numbing sensation and unique sharp flavour, only a small amount needs to be used.
Which prawns to use? Use peeled and deveined large king prawns or tiger prawns(shrimps) for this recipe as it can shrink a bit when you fry it. You can also try with fish fillets or squid too.
For the vegetarian option, firm tofu and chips can be substitutes. Omit chicken powder in the seasoning mixture.
Vegetables: Onion, bell peppers, and spring onions are classic veggies that most takeout and restaurants add. Carrot thin strips and snow peas taste great too!
How To Make It
First of all cut garlic, chillies, onions and bell pepper into thin slices.
Pat dry the prawns with a paper towel and simply season the prawns with salt and black pepper. Coat the seasoned prawns with corn starch. Suggest using corn or potato starch ( flour ) for extra crispiness.
Dredge each prawns in corn starch , press gently and toss the excess flour out before frying.
Heat the oil into high heat about 350 F. You can check the oil temperature with a food thermometer or wooden chopstick. Dip the chopstick or wooden spoon in the oil, when the bubbles are fizzing fast and steadily it’s ready to fry.
Add the coated prawns and deep fry for 2-3 mins until the prawns are crispy golden brown. Do not overcrowd the oil, fry batches if needed. Overcrowding can drop the oil temperature down and prawns coating can get soggy. (Use any neutral flavour oil like peanut, sunflower, canola or vegetable oil for deep frying.)
Remove prawns from oil and set aside on cooling rack or paper towel.
Stir fry the garlic slices for few seconds, follow with onions and peppers slices.
Toss in the fried prawns, salt, pepper, and Chinese five spices. You can add quarter teaspoon of chicken powder if you want to taste exactly like a restaurant.
Toss well to combine all ingredients with medium high heat for 1 min. Crispy Aromatic Salt and Pepper Prawns are ready! Serve immediately!
Hope you like this recipe and try out at home with friends and family.
Here is more of our favourite Asian prawns/shrimp recipes you might like to try:
- Crispy Honey Shrimp ( Crispy fried shrimp/prawns in sticky honey sauce. )
- Sweet and Sour Prawn Balls ( Crispy fried prawns in classic sweet and sour sauce. )
- Shanghai Noodles with Prawns ( King prawns with noodles and homemade stir fry sauce. )
- Stir-Fry Prawns & Broccoli ( Super quick and easy weeknight dinner option! )
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Salt and Pepper Prawns
- ¼ Tsp salt
- ¼ Tsp black pepper
- 400 g Prawns (Peeled & Deveined)
- 1 cup Corn/Potato starch (flour)
- 3-4 cloves Garlic
- ½ Sweet onion
- ½ Red/Green bell pepper
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Black Pepper
- ¼ tsp Chinese Five Spices
- Put prawns in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside.
- Cut garlic, chillies, onions and bell pepper into thin slices.
- Coat the seasoned prawns with the corn starch. Coat the prawns well and toss the excess flour out before frying.
- Heat the oil into high heat about 350 F. Add the coated prawns and deep fry for 2-3 mins till the prawns get crispy. Remove from oil and set aside on cooling rack.
- Heat a pan, drizzle 1 tbsp of oil. Add the garlic slices and stir for few seconds, then add the onions and peppers. Stir well. ( Add 1/2 Tsp of chicken powder if you want to taste exactly like a restaurant.)
- Add the fried prawns , sprinkle salt, pepper and chinese five spices. Toss well to combine all ingredients with medium high heat for 1 min.
- Crispy Aromatic Salt and Pepper Prawns are ready! Serve immediately!