Chinese Teriyaki Prawns (Shrimp)

Chinese Teriaki Prawns (Shrimp)
Sea food is not exactly my forte - the reason is I am "hospital grade" allergic to it.    Being food adventurous this is not very easy and after ending up in the ER several times after eating sea food by mistake I took a radical decision to cut all of it, including fish, from my diet.

Strangely enough I am ok to fish sauce and oyster sauce (if you have any explanation for it just write in the comments), what allows me to eat Asian food.    Going to a Japanese Sushi Place for me is still as adventurous as bungee jumping with an old rope.

In saying that, cooking sea food for me requires gloves and careful handling/ cleaning procedures :-S

This year I decided in a braveness (some may call stupid :-)) act to learn how to cook seafood and more specific to clean up and prepare my food nemesis:  Prawns (Shrimp).    

Lisa and Marina are in charge of my "education".

Marina took me to this fantastic fishmonger in Sunnybank that is an Asian neighborhood where I live.   They have all these fish tanks with Abalones, Lobsters, Fish, Crabs... all you do is point and take it home.

She taught me how to choose the fish: they have to have bright eyes, firm skin and you should always check the gills  that should be fresh and pink.    Your uncooked sea food should also smell like the sea.

A friend of Marina taught me how to fillet a fish as a professional (well... it doesn't mean I learned... still have lots to practice) and we were "gently" invited to leave the place when we were caught up filleting old fish that some of the staff gave us to practice.   Awesome day.

I am not even going to try to teach you here how to clean the prawns due to my lack of experience but I found a post from Chefling Tales that might help you out:   How to Clean Prawns  (prawns photo copied from her site by the way).     My opinion is, if you have a nice fishmonger that will sell the prawns already cleaned, go for it!

Hard thing about cooking seafood for me, besides the fact I can't even touch some of them, is that I can't taste therefore I have to trust the measures I have are accurate.

This recipe is Marina's signature dish, praised by all her family and friends. For me is good because I can taste the sauce and have a good idea how the dish will taste without consuming seafood.    It's a homemade Teriyaki sauce that is also great to be used with chicken and tofu.

You can find most of the ingredients in a regular supermarket except for the Mirin that is a kind of rice wine with a low alcohol content and high sugar  - it can't be replaced by rice wine (the recipe also calls for rice wine) because it is the base flavor, the one that is going to give the characteristic sweetness to the dish.     It is easily found on Asian stores.

For this dish Marina keeps the prawns heads and shell - in China, were Marina comes from, they eat it with the shelves as it is more "crunchy".  The heads are just a matter of aesthetic - in western food neither are appreciated so I will let you decide if you prefer to remove them or go for a more authentic dish.    Nedless to say you will still have to clean the prawns by opening the back and removing the black "yucki" stuff :-)

Recipe was tried and approved by hubby that is always asking me to make more so I can safely say, as every recipe Marina taught me, is a big winner.

Now, let's prepare our Teriyaki Prawns (Shrimp) and if you are like me... don't forget your gloves :-S

Chinese Teriyaki Prawns (Shrimp)
Serves: two as a main, 4 as an entree   Cost:$ | Difficulty:  Easy | Time: 20min
Author: Marina Body

  • 1/2 Kg Clean prawns with head and shell (check post for more info about it)
  • 1/4 Cup Corn Flour
  • Oil to Shallow Fry
  • 1 Red Chilli finely chopped to garnish
  • Coriander leaves to garnish
  • 3 Tablespoons good quality soy sauce 
  • 3 Tablespoons  Mirin
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 3 Cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons rice wine
  • 1/4 Teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh and finely cut coriander

  1. In a small bowl mix the soy sauce, mirin, honey, garlic, rice wine and sesame oil.
  2. Lightly coat the prawns in the corn flour
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.  You should have about two centimeters of oil in the frying pan (for shallow fry).
  4. The oil will be ready to use when dipping the handle of a wood spoon into the oil you see bubbles forming around it.
  5. Cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes or until the prawns are just cooked through and crispy
  6. Remove the prawns from the pan and let is sit on paper towel to drain.
  7. Heat another large skillet over medium heat
  8. Pour the Sauce mix in the skillet and bring it to boil for a couple of minutes, it will start to caramelize.
  9. Stir in the prawns and give a quick stir to coat well with the sauce.
  10. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chilli and the coriander leaves.
  11. Serve immediately.
Chinese Teriaki Prawns (Shrimp)

The Untamed Cook

Rachel Elich is a globetrotting, computer engineer, project manager, designer, untamed cook extraordinaire who backpacks around the world. Along the way on adventures, Rachel has adopted and incorporated international influences into all aspects of her creative work endeavours.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Rachel! That would be like my daughter preparing a nut cake! Are you sure you should be doing what you did? That is scary! I am not allergice to fish and shellfish and must say it looks so divine! I'd love to make this dish. I usually only make Shrimp Scampi when I have then...and always thing that I need to expand my shrimp repertoire! Thanks for braving it out for us! CC