Crispy fried prawn (shrimp) balls tossed in homemade sweet and sour sauce with simple ingredients. Healthier and tastier than regular Chinese takeout. You can now skip ordering from takeaway and make your own sweet and sour prawn balls with our easy to follow recipe.
How to make the Sauce
Sweet and sour is one of the most popular classic Chinese sauce that all kids and adults loves. You can find it in menu of all most every Chinese restaurant menu. Most sweet and sour dishes are fried battered bite-size meat or seafood are cooked in sticky red-orangey colour sauce. Some restaurant might add food colouring to bring the dish more brighter colour. But we don't actually need to use in our recipe, we made with simple pantry friendly ingredients but the taste, colour and flavour was Super! If you haven't tasted this sweet, sour, tangy mouth watering homemade sauce, I highly recommend to try at least once! I am sure you will definitely love it.
How to make this dish perfectly?
1. Crispy Coating
This prawn coating will stays crispy even after you tossed with the sauce. You will need these following ingredients to make the airy, crispy, non-greasy prawn balls.
Corn starch and Flour : Mix corn starch and regular plain flour with a bit of baking soda. Adding corn starch will keeps the coating crispy, plain flour with the help of baking soda will makes the fluffy batter that doesn't tear apart. Don't forget to break one egg white into the seasoned prawns before you dust it in the flour mix, to keep the coating flour mix stick to the prawns.
2. Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce
This sauce recipe may look one more extra step. But trust me, the result will worth your effort!
Here is the simple ingredients to make the best homemade sauce, that doesn't make the prawn balls soggy.
Ketchup, vinegar, sugar, chicken stock, corn starch and salt to taste! I add tomato concentrate to bring extra colour and tangy flavour to the sauce. The key of this recipe is to reduce the sauce by half before you toss with the prawn balls and keep the sauce warm.
This sweet and sour sauce is a basic sauce that you can add in different varieties of stir fry dishes. You can make a large batch in store in air tight container, it last for a couple of week in a fridge. If you are a spicy food fan, you can create Thai sweet and sour prawns by adding a tablespoon of fish sauce and chopped fresh bird-eye chillies in the sauce mix.
3. Deep Frying
It's very important to fry with the high temperature oil to prevent the prawn balls from greasy and soggy. Temperature should be around 350 F and you can test with a wooden chopstick. If the oil bubbles are fizzing fast and steadily, its ready to fry. Fry until crispy light brown, you don't need to double fry or fry until golden brown as the prawns are cooked very fast.
Frequently asked questions
Can you fry it in air fryer? Spray or brush a bit of oil on both side the coated prawns and fry it with the pre-heated 350°F( 177° C) air fryer for 8-10 minutes until done. Flip halfway through.
Can you bake it in oven? Pre-heat the oven to 350°F( 177° C). Place the coated prawns on the baking tray, brush a bit of oil on both sides and bake for 8-10 minutes until crispy. Turn sides on halfway.
Can I make it more saucy? As this recipe doesn't come with loads of sauce, the prawn balls stays crispy even after few hours passed. I do not recommend to double or triple the sauce amount to make it more saucy for this type of dry stir fry dish.
What to serve with this dish
For a full Chinese banquet dinner serve this dish with, cooked rice, fried rice, stir fry noodle or noodles soups. Here is few of our family's favourite recipes you can try out with :
- Hot and Sour Soup - Savoury Chinese classic hot and sour soup
- Crispy Fried Wonton - Deep fried wonton with moist and juicy chicken fillings
- Chicken Fried Rice - Quick and easy fried rice you can prepare in less than 30 minutes
- Rice Noodle Stir-Fry - Quick chicken chow fun with homemade stir fry sauce
- Crispy Salt and Pepper Beef - Perfect as appetizer with drink or you serve along with rice
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Sweet and Sour Prawn Balls
- 10.5 oz king prawns peeled and deveined ( about 300-350 gram )
- ½ Sweet onion cut in small cubes
- ½ Bell pepper cut in small squares
- Spring onions for garnish
- 1 tsp Garlic roughly chopped
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Black pepper
- 1 Egg white
Coating Flour Mix
- 1 cup Corn starch flour
- ⅓ cup Plain flour
- ¼ tsp Baking soda
Sweet and Sour Prawn Sauce
- 3 tbsp Ketchup
- 3 tbsp Sugar
- 3 tbsp White vinegar
- 1 tbsp Tomato concentrate/puree
- ½ cup Chicken stock vegetable stock or water
- 1 tsp Corn starch
- ½ tsp Salt
- First of all, pad dry the prawns with paper towel and season with simple salt and fresh ground black pepper. Break one egg white in, mix it well and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl add corn starch, plain flour and baking soda. Mix well to combine all ingredients evenly. Prepare the vegetables by roughly chop the garlic cloves and cut the onion and pepper in a small cubes.
- Dredge the prawns in the flour mix, press and dip gently to coat each prawns evenly. Transfer the coated prawns on the tray or pate and repeat the remaining prawns. Toss the excess flour out before frying.
- In a small sauce pan, add chicken stock, ketchup, vinegar, sugar, salt, tomato puree and corn starch. Stir well with medium heat until the sugar dissolved and the sauce has thicken slightly. Remove from heat and keep it warm.
- Heat the vegetable oil to high heat about 350°F, deep fry the prawns until crispy light brown. Remove from oil and transfer to paper towel.
- In a large wok/pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil with medium-high heat, stir fry the chopped garlic for 10 seconds. Then follow with the onion and peppers continue fry for another 1 minute.
- Place the fried prawns back in the wok, pour the sweet and sour sauce in. Toss well to combine the prawns, sauce and vegetables evenly for 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and sprinkle the chopped spring onions. Transfer to serving plate and serve immediately!