This is a version of the Northern Chinese dish Guō Bāo Ròu, which coats the prawns in potato flour, before layering on a sweet and sour paste which is absorbed by the coating to make a deliciously sweet and sour crispy coating.
Ching He Huang’s Sichuan sweet & sour prawns
- Preparation time: 10 minutes
- Cooking time: 10 minutes
- Total time: 20 minutes
For the sauce:
2 tsp cornflour
5 tbsp Heinz tomato ketchup
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
For the prawns:
1 medium egg, beaten
Groundnut oil, for deep frying, plus 1 tablespoon
12 large raw tiger prawns, head and shell off, tail on, and deveined
1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2.5 cm root ginger, peeled and grated
2 medium red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp lime juice
2 salad onions, chopped at an angle into 2.5cm pieces
1 small handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
1. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce with 200 ml hot water in a heatproof jug and set aside.
2. For the prawns: put the egg, cornflour and about 1-2 tablespoons of water into a bowl and mix to make a batter.
3. Heat the groundnut oil in a wok set over a high heat. Dip each prawn into the batter, and fry in the hot oil until golden – it’s best to do this in batches. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper.
5. Heat a small wok or pan over a high heat and when hot add the peppercorns and toast for 1 minute, crush in a pestle and mortar. Add 1 tbsp oil to the pan. As soon as the oil starts to smoke, add the Sichuan peppercorns, garlic, ginger and chillies, stir fry for a few more seconds.
6. Add the sauce you made earlier to the stir-fry pan and bring to the boil. Stir in the lime juice, salad onions and coriander and remove from the heat and coat over the prawns. Serve with rice - egg-fried rice makes a good match.