Crispy langoustines with coconut shallot crunch

Crispy langoustines with coconut shallot crunch

Chinese Unchopped
45 mins
Cooking time
10 mins
Martin Poole

The Chinese have been in Malaysia for over ten generations now and continue to cook up and deep-fry the abundance of seafood around the country. This dish takes its influence from a type of large prawn called mantis shrimp that is very popular in Kota Kinabalu, East Malaysia, where we used to travel to as a family. Langoustines, with their sweet flesh, make a good substitute. The only hard work here is in the cleaning and picking at the meat once cooked, but if you are happy to do so, it’s well worth the adventure!


Quantity Ingredient
500g langoustines
100g cornflour, seasoned with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper
3 garlic cloves
1 fresh bird’s-eye chilli
a handful coriander
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
vegetable oil, for frying

Coconut shallot crunch

Quantity Ingredient
50g desiccated coconut
50g ready-fried shallots
2 tablespoons chinese five-spice
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons granulated sugar


  1. Wash the langoustines thoroughly and dry with a clean tea towel. Using a pair of cooking scissors, insert the point in between the head and the body, then cut down the length of the shell from head to tail. Open up the langoustines and clean out the intestinal tract with a toothpick as if you were deveining an ordinary prawn (see note).
  2. Place the langoustines in a bowl with the seasoned cornflour. Cover the bowl with a plate or lid, hold together firmly and shake to mix the cornflour well into the langoustines.
  3. Finely chop the garlic and chillies. Roughly chop the coriander.
  4. For the coconut shallot crunch, toast the desiccated coconut in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for 4–5 minutes until evenly golden brown, then add to a spice grinder, coffee grinder or pestle and mortar with the remaining ingredients and grind the mixture to a fine powder.
  5. BUILD YOUR WOK CLOCK: place your langoustines at 12 o’clock, then arrange the garlic, chilli, salt and pepper, coconut shallot crunch bowl and coriander clockwise around your plate.
  6. Half-fill a large pot, wok or deep-fryer with vegetable oil and heat to 170°C, or until the tip of a wooden chopstick or skewer starts to fizz after 2–3 seconds in the oil. Carefully add the langoustines and deep-fry for 5–6 minutes, until coral pink on the inside and golden brown on the outside. Remove the pieces carefully with a slotted spoon and drain well on a plate covered with kitchen paper.
  7. In a separate wok, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over a high heat until smoking-hot. Add the garlic, chilli, salt and pepper, then add the langoustines and 3 tablespoons of the coconut shallot crunch and toss together a few times. Transfer to a serving plate and scatter over another 1–2 tablespoons of the coconut shallot crunch and the coriander. Serve immediately.


  • To devein a prawn, use a small, sharp knife to make a slit along the middle of the back to expose the dark vein, then pull it out. Alternatively insert a toothpick roughly three-quarters of the way up the back of the prawn and pull the vein up and out of the prawn.


  • The coconut shallot crunch here makes more than you need for the recipe but is great thrown over stir-fries, grilled meat or other seafood dishes such as the Steamed Scallops with Garlic and Vermicelli. Keep it in an airtight container until needed.
School of Wok
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again