Steamed garlic prawns

Steamed garlic prawns

The Real Food of China
Leanne Kitchen

We first tried this southern dish with mantis prawns, a curious crustacean that resembles both a praying mantis and a large prawn. Their sweet flesh, held in broad, meaty tails, is more delicate than king, tiger or banana prawns and we love them split, deep-fried and lightly salted, or steamed with plenty of garlic, as here. You probably won’t find mantis prawns outside of Asia, but you’ll still be happy campers if you make this with any fresh, large raw prawn.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons peanut oil
12 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 spring onions, finely chopped, white part only
2 tablespoons clear rice wine
large pinch sugar
3 teaspoons light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
16 raw jumbo king prawns, unpeeled
or 20 raw extra large king prawns, unpeeled


  1. Heat the peanut oil in a small saucepan over a low heat, then add the garlic and spring onions and cook, stirring often, for 4 minutes, or until the garlic has softened slightly. Do not allow the garlic to colour. Add 1 tablespoon of the rice wine, the sugar, 1 teaspoon of the soy sauce and the sesame oil. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
  2. Using kitchen scissors, trim the feelers and all legs from the prawns. Using the scissors, or a very sharp knife, cut through the top of each prawn, starting from just behind the head and working down towards the tail, to form a pocket in the top of each prawn. Remove the digestive tracts.
  3. Neatly stuff each prawn cavity with the cooled garlic mixture, then place the prawns, stuffed side up, in a tight row on a plate large enough to fit inside your steamer (you may need to steam the prawns in two batches). Place the plate in the steamer and drizzle the remaining rice wine and soy sauce over the prawns. Place the steamer over a wok or saucepan of boiling water, then cover and steam for about 15 minutes, or until the prawns are just cooked through. Serve immediately.
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