I’d always order this seafood dish as a child, so it brings back a lot of happy memories. My grown-up, light version of the Chinese restaurant classic is still crisp, crunchy and juicy, but doesn’t have any of the heaviness from the traditional gluggy batter. Positively saintly!
16 large prawns, peeled and deveined
¼ cup chicken stock
1 tbsp light soy sauce
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp honey
1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
4 spring onions (scallions), pale parts finely chopped and green parts finely chopped
2 tsp cornflour (cornstarch), dissolved in 2 tbsp water
vegetable oil, for frying
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp Chinese Shaoxing wine
1 egg white, lightly whisked
½ tsp sea salt
In a large bowl, place the prawns and the marinade ingredients. Mix thoroughly to break up the egg white. Allow to marinate for 10 minutes.
In another bowl, mix together the chicken stock, soy sauce, sugar and honey.
Place the flour in a large tray or bowl. Add the prawns and the marinade and use your hands to pat and press the liquid and flour together around the prawns to form a craggy coating.
Fill a wok or saucepan to about 1/3 capacity with the vegetable oil. Heat over high heat. The oil is hot enough for frying at 325°F or 165°C or when a wooden spoon dipped into the oil forms small little bubbles. Shake excess flour from the prawns. Cook the prawns in 2 to 3 batches for about 3 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Drain on kitchen paper.
In a clean wok or pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil and then add the pale part of the spring onion. Cook for about 10 seconds. Then add the chicken stock mixture. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Add the cornstarch mixture. Cook for another minute or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Add the prawns and toss until evenly coated. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds and the green part of the spring onion.