• Garlic butter prawns (Adam Liaw)Source: Adam Liaw

This simple stir-fried dish uses fresh Australian garlic in a buttery sauce to coat delicious and tender prawns. If you want to make things even easier, you can skip the deep-frying step and just cook the prawns directly in the garlic butter sauce.






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (100 votes)


  • 600 g large whole green prawns
  • 2 tbsp cornflour, plus 1 teaspoon extra for thickening
  • 1.5 litres vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • 50 g butter
  • 10 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • a good pinch of sugar

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Standing time: 15 minutes


1. Peel the prawns and reserve the shells. Butterfly the prawns by cutting a deep slit along the back of the prawns. Remove the intestine and flattening the prawn meat gently.

2. Place the reserved prawn shells in a saucepan with 1.5 litres of water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes, then strain and discard the shells.

3. Place the prawn meat in a bowl with 2 tbsp of cornflour and 125 ml (½ cup) of cold tap water. Stir to combine, then rub the prawns in the cornflour mixture and set the prawns aside for at least 15 minutes.

4. Place the oil into a large saucepan and heat to 175˚C. Remove the prawns from the cornflour mixture and add to the hot oil. Deep-fry the prawns for about 2 minutes or until nearly cooked through, then remove and drain on a wire rack placed over a tray.

5. Heat a large wok over medium heat, then add the butter and the garlic. Fry the garlic for 1 minute until fragrant but not yet browned. Add 2 tbsp of the prawn stock, the fish sauce, Shaoxing wine and a generous pinch of sugar. Add the prawns and toss through the garlic butter sauce. Mix the extra cornflour with 1 tablespoon cold water and add to the prawn mixture. Stir until the sauce has thickened slightly, then serve immediately.


Adam Liaw visits bushfire-affected communities and creates dishes using their local produce in Adam Liaw's Road Trip for Good.