Stir-fried Prawns (Har Lok in Cantonese) in Dark Orange Sauce is a wonderful Cantonese recipe that I learnt from my mother, and I have been making this dish for my family every year as a Chinese New Year reunion dinner tradition. The slightly sweet and zesty orange sauce that the prawns are coated with is pleasing to the palate, that even children will be asking for more! The key to making great Har Lok lies in the choice of prawns and how fresh they are. For Har Lok, the best prawn to use is Ang Kar Hay (红脚虾 Hong Jiao Xia, literally translated as ‘Red-Legged Prawn’, because these prawns are larger than other prawns (like Glass Prawns, Tiger Prawns etc), while the flesh is very sweet and crunchy. Hope you enjoy this recipe!
Note: For Special Diets, please read the notes at the bottom for suggested modifications.
Cantonese Stir-fried Prawns in Orange Sauce (Har Lok) Recipe
An tasty prawn dish you can prepare in under an hour, perfect for everyday or big occasions like the Chinese Lunar New Year
INGREDIENTS FOR CANTONESE STIR-FRIED PRAWNS (HAR LOK) (serves 4)
- King-sized prawns, 8
- Oil, 6TBsp
- Dark Soya Sauce, 1 TBsp
- Oyster Sauce, 1/2 TBsp
- Sugar, 1 1/2 TBsp
- Salt, 3/4 tsp
- Orange Rind, 1 Orange (Only the orange part and not the white is needed
- Orange Juice, 3 TBsp
PREPARATION FOR CANTONESE STIR-FRIED PRAWNS (HAR LOK) (30 minutes)
- Use a pair of scissors, snip the back of the prawn and then make a deeper cut into the back with a sharp knife to make a butterfly.
- Remove the debris from the prawns with a sharp knife or toothpick.
- Wash the prawns and pat dry and add the salt and leave to stand for 15 minutes
- Cut the rind of the orange into thin strips
- Squeeze the orange into a bowl and set aside
- Combine the oyster sauce, black soya sauce and sugar in a bowl
COOKING METHOD FOR CANTONESE STIR-FRIED PRAWNS (HAR LOK) (30 minutes)
- Put the oil into the wok. Add prawns in to deep fry until 70% cooked or till the shell turns slightly whitish in color. Deep fry the prawns in small batches otherwise all the heads will drop out.
- When all the prawns are fried, remove and put on a plate.
- Pour the oil from the wok leaving about 1 Tbsp.
- Add half the orange rind and fry for few seconds. Add the sauce mixture and the orange juice
- Put all the prawns into the wok and stir fry the prawns until they are well coated with the sauce.
- Continue to cook for about 2-3 mins until the sauce thickens
- Place the prawns on a plate and garnish with the remaining orange rind, parsley and spring onion
- Serve while it’s hot.
- Use Red Leg Prawns or ‘Ang Kah Hay’ in Hokkien for this dish as the texture of the prawn is very crunchy and firm, and the flesh is very sweet. Make sure the prawns are very very fresh – you need to lightly press the prawn body to ensure that it feels firm, and make sure that the prawn head and legs are not starting to detach from the body.
Suggested Modifications for Special Diets
- Child-Friendly: Kids will love the zesty and mildly sweet orange sauce that is used to lightly coat the prawns.
- Egg-Free: No modifications needed.
- Fish-Free: No modifications needed.
- Gluten-Free: Ensure that the condiments (oyster sauce and soya sauce) are gluten free.
- Nut-Free: No modifications needed.
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