500g (1lb) peeled and deveined prawns
1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
5 spring onions (scallions)
1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
vegetable oil for shallow frying and stir-frying
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
5cm (2 inches) piece ginger, peeled and sliced into fine strips
10 dried long red chillies, cut into small pieces
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp Chinese Shaoxing wine*
1 tsp sugar
Combine the prawns with the marinade ingredients. Set aside while you prepare your remaining ingredients.
Heat the Sichuan peppercorns in a dry frying pan over medium heat. Keep them moving in the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Transfer the peppercorns to a mortar and use a pestle to grind them to a fine powder. Set aside for later.
Finely slice the pale part of the spring onions and keep that aside. Then cut the remaining green part of the spring onion into batons. Keep the two parts separate.
In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the stir-fry sauce.
Pour enough vegetable oil into a large non-stick frying pan to coat the bottom to about a 1cm depth. Heat the pan over high heat. Coat the prawns in the flour, shake off any excess flour and then carefully place each prawn into the oil. Cook for about 2-3 minutes each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towel.
Discard the oil from the pan and clean it. Return it to a medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp of vegetable oil and then add the garlic, ginger, chillies and the pale part of the spring onion. Stir-fry for about a minute or until fragrant. Then add the prawns and sprinkle over the ground Sichuan peppercorns. Toss to coat. Then add the stir-fry sauce and toss until well combined and the prawns are cooked through. Scatter over the green part of the spring onions. Remove from heat and serve.
– If you’d like to make this alcohol free, just use chicken stock instead of the Chinese wine.