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Battered Prawns Recipe Chinese Style: Your Complete Guide to Homemade Perfection

If you're a fan of Chinese cuisine, you've likely tried battered prawns at least once. This classic dish is a staple in many Chinese restaurants and is a popular starter or main dish. Battered prawns are known for their crispy coating and succulent, juicy prawns inside.

Golden battered prawns sizzle in a wok, surrounded by vibrant vegetables and aromatic spices. A steaming plate awaits

To create the perfect battered prawns, it's important to start with high-quality prawns. Selecting and preparing prawns is a crucial step in the cooking process. You want to choose prawns that are fresh and have a firm texture. Devein the prawns and remove the shells, but leave the tails intact for presentation.

Creating the perfect batter is another key component of a successful battered prawns recipe. The batter should be light, airy, and crispy. You can achieve this by using a combination of cornflour and flour, along with ice-cold soda water. Fry the prawns until they're golden brown and serve with a flavourful sauce and some fresh herbs for garnish.

Key Takeaways

  • Select and prepare high-quality prawns for the best results.
  • Create a light, airy, and crispy batter using cornflour, flour, and soda water.
  • Serve battered prawns with a flavourful sauce and fresh herbs for an impressive presentation.

Selecting and Preparing Prawns

Prawns are being selected and prepared for a Chinese battered prawns recipe. Ingredients and utensils are laid out on a clean, organized kitchen counter

If you are planning to make a Chinese battered prawns recipe, selecting and preparing the right prawns is key to achieving the perfect dish. Here are some tips to help you choose and prepare prawns for your recipe.

Choosing the Right Prawns

When selecting prawns, it is important to choose fresh, high-quality prawns. Look for prawns with firm, translucent flesh and a fresh, sea-like smell. You can use different types of prawns for your recipe, such as jumbo prawns, king prawns or tiger prawns. Just make sure they are the right size for your recipe.

It is also important to choose prawns with the tails intact, as they add a nice presentation touch to your dish. If you can't find prawns with the tails on, you can still use them, but the presentation may not be as appealing.

Cleaning and Deveining

Before using your prawns, you need to clean and devein them. Start by removing the head and the shell. Then, using a small, sharp knife, make a shallow cut along the back of the prawn and remove the dark vein. This is the digestive tract and can give the prawns a gritty texture if left intact.

Once you have deveined the prawns, rinse them under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. Your prawns are now ready to be used in your recipe.

If you want to add some variety to your recipe, you can also use other types of seafood, such as shrimp or other shellfish. Just make sure they are fresh and of high quality, and adjust the cooking time accordingly.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your prawns are fresh, clean and ready to be used in your Chinese battered prawns recipe.

Creating the Perfect Batter

Golden prawns sizzle in a bubbling batter, surrounded by a colorful array of fresh herbs and spices. Steam rises from the sizzling pan, creating an enticing aroma

When it comes to making Chinese battered prawns, the batter is the most important part of the dish. A good batter should be light, crispy, and flavourful. Here are some tips for creating the perfect batter.

Batter Ingredients

The ingredients for the batter are simple and easy to find. You will need all-purpose flour, cornflour (corn starch), baking powder, and water. Some recipes call for the use of potato starch, but this is not necessary.

To make the batter extra crispy, you can also add some baking soda. However, be careful not to add too much as this can make the batter too thick and heavy.

Seafood, such as prawns, is an excellent choice to use in this recipe.

Mixing Technique

To make the perfect batter, it is important to mix the ingredients correctly. Start by mixing the all-purpose flour, cornflour, and baking powder together in a bowl.

Then, slowly add cold water to the mixture, stirring constantly. It is important to use cold water or even ice water, as this will help to create a lighter batter.

Mix the batter until it is smooth and free of lumps. It should have a consistency similar to that of pancake batter.

Once the batter is ready, dip the prawns in the batter and deep fry them until they are golden brown. Serve them hot with your favourite dipping sauce.

By following these simple steps, you can create the perfect batter for your Chinese battered prawns. Enjoy!

Frying to Golden Perfection

Battered prawns sizzle in hot oil, turning golden brown

When it comes to cooking battered prawns, frying them to a golden brown and crispy texture is key. Here are some tips to help you achieve the perfect fried prawns.

Oil and Temperature

Choosing the right oil and temperature is crucial to getting that crispy texture. Vegetable oil is a good choice for frying prawns as it has a high smoke point and a neutral flavour. Make sure the oil is heated to the right temperature, around 180°C, before adding the prawns. If the oil is not hot enough, the prawns will absorb too much oil and become soggy. If the oil is too hot, the batter will burn before the prawns are cooked through.

Frying Method

To fry the prawns, use a slotted spoon to gently lower them into the hot oil. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan as this will lower the temperature of the oil and make the prawns soggy. Fry the prawns for 2-3 minutes or until they are golden brown and crispy. Once they are cooked, remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain off any excess oil.

If you want to make your fried prawns even crispier, you can double fry them. After the first fry, remove the prawns from the oil and let them cool for a few minutes. Then, fry them again for another minute or two until they are golden brown and crispy.

Seafood is a great addition to any battered prawns recipe. You can use different types of seafood such as squid or fish to add variety to your dish. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Flavourful Sauces and Seasonings

Golden, crispy prawns coated in a flavorful Chinese batter, surrounded by an array of vibrant sauces and seasonings

If you want to add some extra flavour to your Chinese battered prawns, you can try out some delicious sauces and seasonings. Here are a couple of options you might want to consider:

Sweet and Sour Sauce

Sweet and sour sauce is a classic dipping sauce that goes perfectly with Chinese battered prawns. To make this sauce, you'll need to combine sugar, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, and lemon juice in a saucepan and simmer the mixture until it thickens. You can adjust the sweetness and sourness of the sauce to your liking by adding more sugar or vinegar.

Spicy Dipping Sauce

If you like a bit of heat, you can try making a spicy dipping sauce for your Chinese battered prawns. To make this sauce, you'll need to combine sweet chilli sauce, hot chilli sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, chilli flakes, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix well. You can adjust the spiciness of the sauce to your liking by adding more or less chilli flakes.

Seafood lovers may also want to consider adding other types of seafood to their recipe. Shrimp and squid are great options that pair well with Chinese battered prawns. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure that all seafood is cooked through properly.

There are many different sauces and seasonings you can use to add some extra flavour to your Chinese battered prawns. Feel free to experiment with different combinations until you find the perfect one for you.

Serving and Presentation

Golden crispy prawns arranged on a white platter with a side of dipping sauce, garnished with fresh herbs and a slice of lemon

When it comes to serving battered prawns, there are a variety of options to choose from. You can serve them as a main dish with steamed rice or noodles, or as a side dish with fried rice or salad.


To complement the flavours of the battered prawns, consider serving them with a side of stir-fried vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, and snow peas. You can also add a touch of sweetness by serving a side of sweet and sour sauce or hoisin sauce. If you want to add some heat, consider serving the prawns with some chilli sauce or chilli flakes.

Garnishing Tips

Garnishing your battered prawns can add a pop of colour and flavour to your dish. One option is to sprinkle some chopped spring onions on top of the prawns, which can add a fresh, oniony flavour. Another option is to sprinkle some sesame seeds on top, which can add a nutty flavour and a bit of crunch.

If you're looking to add some seafood to your dish, consider adding some chopped squid or scallops to the batter. This can add a variety of textures and flavours to your dish. Alternatively, you can serve the battered prawns with a side of seafood such as steamed mussels or clams.

Overall, there are many ways to serve and present your battered prawns. By considering your accompaniments and garnishing options, you can create a dish that is both delicious and visually appealing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Golden battered prawns sizzle in a wok, surrounded by aromatic Chinese spices and herbs. A chef's hand holds a pair of chopsticks, ready to flip the prawns

How can I make my prawn batter extra crispy?

To make your prawn batter extra crispy, use cold water or soda water when mixing the batter. Adding baking powder to the batter can also help achieve a crispy texture. Additionally, it's important to ensure that the prawns are dry before coating them with the batter.

What's the secret to tender prawns like in Chinese restaurants?

The secret to tender prawns like in Chinese restaurants is to marinate the prawns in a mixture of egg white, cornstarch, and salt for about 30 minutes before coating them in the batter. This helps to tenderize the prawns and keep them moist during frying.

Is it possible to get a crispy texture using corn flour for prawn batter?

Yes, it is possible to get a crispy texture using corn flour for prawn batter. However, it's important to mix the corn flour with wheat flour to achieve a better texture. A 50:50 ratio of corn flour to wheat flour is recommended for the best results.

Can I use pre-cooked prawns for my battered prawn dish?

It is not recommended to use pre-cooked prawns for battered prawn dishes as they tend to become tough and rubbery when fried. It's best to use fresh, raw prawns for the best texture and flavour.

What's the best way to keep battered prawns crispy after frying?

The best way to keep battered prawns crispy after frying is to place them on a wire rack to cool instead of a paper towel. This allows the excess oil to drain off and prevents the prawns from becoming soggy. It's also important to serve the prawns immediately after frying.

Is it alright to batter and fry prawns straight from the freezer?

It is not recommended to batter and fry prawns straight from the freezer as this can result in uneven cooking and a soggy texture. It's best to thaw the prawns completely before using them for battered prawn dishes.

If you want to experiment with different types of seafood, you can also use squid, scallops or even fish for your battered dish. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.