For best results, use uncooked giant or king prawns in their shells for this deep fried dish. Sold headless, they are about 8 - 10 cm (3 - 4 in) long, and you should get 18 - 20 prawns per 450 g (1 lb).
serves 6 - 8
450 g (1 lb) uncooked prawns in their shells, headless
5 ml (1 tsp) ground Szechuan peppercorns
15 ml (1 tbsp) light soy sauce
15 ml (1 tbsp) Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
10 ml (2 tsp) cornflour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
60 - 75 ml (4 - 5 tbsp) breadcrumbs
vegetable oil, for deep frying
2 - 3 spring onions, to garnish
lettuce leaves or crispy "seaweed", to serve
1. Peel the prawns but leave the tails on. Split the prawns in half from the underbelly, about three-quarters of the way through, leaving the tails still firmly attached.
2. Put the prawns in a bowl with the pepper, soy sauce, rice wine or sherry and cornflour and set aside to marinate for 10 - 15 minutes.
3. Pick up one prawn at a time by the tail, and dip it in the beaten egg.
4. Roll the egg-covered prawns in breadcrumbs.
5. Heat the oil in a wok until medium-hot. Gently lower the prawns into the oil.
6. Deep fry the prawns in batches until golden brown. Remove and drain. Garnish with spring onions, which are either raw or have been soaked for about 30 seconds in hot oil. To serve, arrange the prawns neatly on a bed of lettuce leaves or crispy "seaweed".
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