If you’re a fan of succulent seafood bursting with flavour, you will fall in love with this classic recipe of Korean Sweet And Spicy Prawns.
4 Servings
Prep Time
Cook Time
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  • 1 cup (150 g) tapioca flour (starch)
  • 2 cups (500 ml) cold water
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 5 pcs dried wood-ear mushrooms
  • 3 large dried red chillies
  • 16 uncooked king prawns, peeled and deveined, with tails left on
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ clove garlic, crushed
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • 1 green onion (green shallot), sliced
  • 2 tsps toasted sesame seeds


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large (200 g) onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 medium (120 g) carrot, sliced thinly
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsps soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup (75 g) sugar
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water
  • 1 tbsp cornflour

Combine tapioca and water in a medium bowl and stir until smooth. Let stand for 3 hours or until water has risen and separated from starch. Do not mix. Discard water. Starch will be very thick. Slowly mix in egg white and cornflour. The mixture will be thick.


Place the mushrooms and chillies in a large bowl. Pour over enough warm water to cover. Let stand for 30 mins or until mushrooms and chillies are rehydrated and softened.


In a big bowl, combine prawns, soy sauce, garlic and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 30 mins.


Heat the vegetable oil in a deep fryer or saucepan to 180 C. Add marinated prawns to the batter and mix.


Drop prawns in small batches into the hot oil. Cook for about 1 to 2 mins or until pale golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels (the prawns will be fried again before serving).


To prepare sauce, drain mushrooms and chillies. Cut mushrooms into 3 pcs and chillies in half. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan. Cook onion, carrot and chillies, stirring for 2 mins. Add mushrooms and garlic, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar and 1 cup water. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium.


In a small bowl, blend the cornflour with 1 tbsp cold water. Gradually add cornflour mixture to sauce, stirring to avoid lumps. Simmer for about 5 mins or until sauce has thickened. Season to taste.


Reheat the oil to 180 C. Deep-fry prawns in batches until golden brown.


Just before serving, toss the prawns through the sauce. Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds.

Photo: Bauer/William Meppem

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