20 large king prawns (shrimp), peeled and deveined
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp Chinese Shaoxing wine
1 egg, lightly beaten
vegetable oil, for deep frying, plus 1 tbsp extra
1½ cups cornflour (cornstarch)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 long red chillies, finely sliced
2 large dried red chillies, roughly chopped
2 spring onions (scallions), sliced
roughly chopped coriander (cilantro), to serve
lime wedges, to serve
Sichuan salt & pepper:
1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
2 tbsp sea salt
To make the Sichuan salt & pepper, heat the peppercorns in a dry frying pan over high heat. Keep the peppercorns moving in the pan as they heat. Once fragrant (after about a minute or so), transfer the peppercorns to a mortar and use a pestle to grind to a fine powder. Combine the pepper with the salt and set aside.
To prepare the prawns, slice down the back of each prawn (without cutting all the way through). Combine the prawns with the soy sauce, Shaoxing wine and egg. Mix until well combined.
Fill a saucepan or wok to about 1/3 capacity with the vegetable oil. Heat over high heat. The oil is hot when it reaches 325°F or 165°C, or when a wooden spoon dipped into the oil forms small little bubbles.
While you’re waiting for the oil to heat, tip the prawns and all the marinade into the cornflour. Use your hands to mix the prawns and flour, patting lots of ‘crumbly’ flour onto each prawn. Shake off the excess. When the oil is hot, cook the coated prawns, in batches, for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Drain on paper towel.
In a clean wok or large frying pan, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil over high heat. Add the garlic, chillies and spring onion. Stir-fry for a minute. Then add in the crispy fried prawns. Sprinkle over 2 large pinches of the Sichuan salt & pepper. Toss until well combined, then remove from heat and transfer to a serving plate. Top with coriander and serve with lime wedges.