A quick prawn recipe loaded with BIG flavours! Seared prawns smothered in a spicy, sticky Asian sauce, these Asian Chilli Garlic Prawns will have you smacking your lips in utter satisfaction, feeling like you’ve just dined at a fancy modern Thai restaurant.
The sauce tastes like a homemade Chilli Jam except it’s far easier to make. 15 minutes, start to finish!
Quick prawn recipe with BIG flavours!
While I love a classic Chinese-style prawn stir fry with its clean and steady flavours, or the heart-stopping (in more ways than one) fried and sweet deliciousness of Honey Prawns, sometimes I find myself looking for a punch in the face (flavour-wise, that is!)
This prawn recipe came to be after I had a terrific Stir Fried Prawns in Chilli Jam at a modern(ish) Thai Restaurant. While I can’t replicate desserts at home on a whim, I usually have a fair chance of getting pretty close with savoury dishes.
I was going to try to replicate it using a homemade Chilli Jam recipe, but then I got lazy. Instead, I tried to achieve the same flavours using a little bit of this, a little bit of that, a dash of this and a splash of that.
And well, well, well, what do you know? It came out darn delicious. Really, really tasty and pretty close to making this with a homemade Chilli Jam, but just a whole lot easier and faster. 🙂
The sauce is essentially a quick and easy Chilli Jam – and it’s lip smackingly delish!
I promise I’m not exaggerating when I say that this really does taste like Spicy Stir Fries you get from modern Asian restaurants. I don’t claim this to be authentic Asian because it probably isn’t an authentic Asian stir fry but every ingredient in the sauce is certainly used in many Asian dishes!
A 12 minute recipe
There’s nothing more disappointing that shoving a big, plump, juicy-looking prawn in your mouth only to find it’s rubbery and dry.
So in my world, every prawn recipe has to be a quick recipe because otherwise you’ll overcook the prawn! And these Asian Chilli Garlic Prawns certainly fit the bill. Here’s how it goes down:
Chop / grate the ginger and garlic, measure out the sauce ingredients – 5 minutes
Sear prawns in 2 batches – 4 minutes
Simmer sauce until syrupy – 2 minutes
Toss prawns back in – 1 minute
Total time – 12 minutes 🙌🏻
TIP: get the rice started first, because that takes longer than this recipe!
Frozen prawns – all the way!
For the first couple of years when I started this website, I was a total prawn snob and urged everyone to peel their own prawns, declaring that frozen was just not the same. This conclusion was drawn from many years of mediocre frozen prawn experiences in my youth.
It’s been a very pleasant discovery to find that frozen prawns have come a long way in their time! Sure, some are better than others, but even the budget ones (eg Aldi, Costco) are still very good.
I still peel fresh prawns for company. But for everyday purposes, I’m all about frozen prawns nowadays – and I totally own it!
What to serve on the side
Add some greens to your meal – here are a few suggestions:
Cucumber chunks tossed with Asian Sesame Dressing sprinkled with coriander/cilantro (pictured)
Asian Sesame Dressing drizzled ove leafy greens, tomato wedges or cherry tomatoes
Asian Slaw – terrifically fresh and crunchy!
Restaurant Style Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce – or use any steamed Asian greens, green beans or snow peas
Enjoy! – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
This recipe features in my debut cookbook Dinner. The book is mostly new recipes, but this is a reader favourite included by popular demand!
Asian Chilli Garlic Prawns (Shrimp)
- 500g / 1 lb prawns / shrimp, raw, , peeled and deveined (Note 1)
- 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil (or canola)
- 1 tsp sesame oil , toasted (Note 2)
- 3 garlic cloves , very finely minced
- 2 tsp ginger , grated or finely chopped (can be omitted)
- 1 tsp chilli flakes* (Note 3)
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) water
- 3 tbsp Sriracha (Note 4)
- 2 tsp soy sauce , light or all purpose (Note 5)
- 3 tbsp brown sugar (sub with white)
- Sesame seeds
- Green onions , finely sliced
- Red chillies , finely sliced or chopped
- Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add half the prawns and sear for about 45 seconds on each side until golden, then remove into bowl. Repeat.
- Remove skillet from stove to cool down slightly, turn down to medium.
- Return skillet to stove, heat sesame oil.
- Add garlic, ginger and chilli flakes. Cook until garlic turns golden.
- Add water, then Sriracha, soy sauce and sugar, Stir, increase heat to medium high, and let it simmer for 3 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken to a thin syrup consistency.
- Return prawns into skillet and toss to coat in sauce and reheat, and cook for 1 – 2 minutes until sauce is reduced and coats the prawns nicely.
Originally published July 2016. Rewritten in May 2019, new photos, brand new video, and new Life of Dozer photos!
Life of Dozer
Another snap from the Mother’s Day weekend away to Rick Stein’s Bannisters Hotel in Port Stephens.
Contemplating the meaning of life as he gazes at the sun rise over the infinity pool….
OK, we all know that’s not true. He’s more likely wondering how much trouble he’d get in if he dove in. I don’t think the other hotel guests would appreciate swimming in a sea of Dozer’s golden fur! 😂
And from the original publish date in 2016: The vet said to figure out a way to stop him from licking his injured paw. So I did. 😉
If you enjoyed my Asian Chilli Garlic Prawns (Shrimp), I think you’ll LOVE……
My Mongolian Beef – crispy beef tossed in a fabulous sticky sauce!
My Asian Glazed Salmon with a glorious sticky glaze!
Or to serve on the side, how about Chinese Fried Rice?