Szechuan Dry-Braised Prawns

Course : Chinese
Serves: 2
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1 pound medium-sized shrimp -- 26 to 30 count
1 dash salt
1 dash white pepper
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil -- for blanching
1/2 small white onion -- minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger -- minced
2 cloves garlic -- minced/pressed
1 teaspoon chili paste
1/2 cup catsup
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 medium green onion -- chopped
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Preparation / Directions:

Shell and devein shrimp, leaving tails attached. Rinse and pat dry. Combine MARINADE ingredients with shrimp in order listed. Let stand 10 minutes. To oil blanch, set wok over high heat for about 1 minutes. Add 3 cups oil and heat to 300F. Add shrimp, stirring gently to separate. Blanch until pink, remove and drain. To braise, remove all but 3 T. oil from wok. Add onion and brown slightly; stir in remaining spices and cook until fragrant. Add seasonings and shrimp and braise over high heat until sauce is reduced. Stir in green onion and sesame oil. Transfer to platter to serve. NOTES: 1. You can adjust the chili paste according to your own taste. 2. Substitute the meat from 2 lobster tails to make dry-braised lobster. 3. Using smaller shrimp and less sauce makes this dish suit- able for an appetizer.

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