Crispy Wasabi Prawns (芥末虾): These deep-fried large crispy prawns coated in delicious creamy wasabi sauce are a restaurant favourite of many Singaporeans!
First published: 9 Sep 2016
Updated: 4 July 2018
I had my first taste of wasabi prawns at Peach Garden Restaurant several years ago . As usual, it is my hobby to use my tastebuds to guess all the different ingredients that go into a particular dish that I find interesting so that I can try to replicate it for my family’s next meal.It took me several attempts before I succeeded – the first few times I experimented, either the sauce was too bitter because I added too much wasabi, or it was too sweet and runny because I had added the juice of one orange, the juice of half of lemon and honey into the mayonnaise. It just didn’t turn out right.
Finally after further experimentation and adaptation from other recipes like Sam Leong’s recipe, I realized that condensed milk was the missing mystery ingredient. Finally I have succeeded in fine-tuning this recipe to please my family’s palate. I hope you will find it delicious too!
Crispy Wasabi Prawns
These deep-fried large crispy prawns coated in delicious creamy wasabi sauce are a restaurant favourite of many Singaporeans!
- 15 Large Prawns Preferably Red Leg Prawns / 红脚虾 / Ang Kar Hay
- 1/2 tsp Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2 tbsp Chinese Rice Wine Shao Xing Jiu / Hua Tiao Chiew
- 2.5 tbsp Egg White
- 1 tbsp Sweet Potato Flour
- 4-5 tbsp Corn Flour
- 1 bowl Oil For deep-frying the prawn)
- 4 tbsp Wasabi Powder
- 3 tbsp Japanese Mayonnaise
- 3 1/2 tbsp Condensed Milk
- 3 1/2 tbsp Water
- Ebiko Prawn roe
- Black sesame seed
PREPARATION METHOD (45 MIN)
A. Marinate the Prawns
De-shell and de-vein the prawns. Wash the prawns, drain dry and place in a bowl.
Note: If you have pre-frozen your prawns, take out the prawns from the freezer at least 1 hour before to defrost.
In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg white
Add salt, sugar and egg white to the prawns, and mix well. Cover with cling wrap and leave in the fridge for 15 mins.
B. Make the Wasabi Sauce
- Place the wasabi powder into a small bowl, and add in water. Mix well until a paste is formed.
- Add in the mayonnaise, condensed milk, and wasabi paste into a big bowl. Mix well until smooth. Cover with a cling wrap and set aside for later use.
C. Batter the Prawns
Just before deep-frying, take out the prawns from the fridge. Add in the sweet potato flour and corn flour, then mix well ensuring every prawn is well and evenly coated with the batter mixture.
COOKING METHOD (15 MIN) (Note: Only start these steps when you are ready to serve!)
A. Deep-fry the Prawns
Heat up the wok with the 1 bowl of oil over medium heat. Then add in the prawns one at a time, making sure that the prawns do not stick to one another.
Deep fry for 2-3 minutes until golden, then place on paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
B. Finishing Touches!
When all the prawns have been fried and while still hot, put the prawns into the bowl of wasabi mixture immediately and toss them well ensuring that every prawn is evenly coated with the wasabi sauce.
Transfer the prawns on a platter and garnish it with black sesame seeds and ebiko. Serve immediately
- It is best to use fresh and big prawns. I like to use Red Leg Prawns (红脚虾 Ang Kar Hay) whenever I make Wasabi Prawns.
- Be carefully not to get pricked by the sharp poisonous needle-sharp tips at the head and tail of the prawn, which can make your fingers swell. For this reason, I always like to cut off the tips of the prawn immediately before I do anything else to them!
- Remove the prawn shells carefully so that the tail remains intact. That is my favourite part of the prawn!
- Please watch the recipe video to see how I devein the prawn, if you are not sure how to do it.
- If you are buying extra prawns that you need to freeze for another time, do check out my post on how to freeze and pack fresh prawns.
- To make the prawns more crunchy, make sure you add sugar as one of the marinade ingredients. Another restaurant tip that I found out is that you should refrigerate the prawns for about 20 minutes before frying, as the cold helps to retain the crunchy texture of the prawn.
- In many restaurants, sodium bicarbonate is added to the prawns to make them super crunchy. However, adding too much can make the prawns lose its natural sweetness and become tasteless, and even give a bitter chemical taste to the prawn. For this reason, I prefer to use sugar and refrigeration, instead of sodium bicarbonate, to achieve the crunchy texture.
- Sweet potato flour is added to batter to give a slight chewy texture when the batter is fried.
- Feel free to adjust the amount of wasabi (for the spicy "oomph" and "chiang" sensation), condensed milk (for the sweetness) and mayonnaise (for the creaminess) according to your taste. It is best to test the sauce before adding in the fried prawns.
- Try to coat prawns with sauce immediately after frying, because the heat helps the sauce to be more liquid, so it spreads out more evenly and smoothly.
- The wine is to help mask the prawn-y smell and enhance the taste too.
- Do not re-fry the prawns otherwise they will be over-cooked and tough! Fry when you are ready to serve. After all it takes only a few minutes to do it.
Suggested Modifications for Special Diets