Garlic prawns are a Chinese restaurant classic, and growing up in South Australia my little sister would always order these.
In this recipe, the classic gets a bit of an update, with sustainable Spencer Gulf prawns, garlic shoots and organic confit garlic.
- 12 king prawns, such as Spencer Gulf, peeled, deveined
- 2 tbsp toasted garlic oil
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup garlic shoots, cut into 5 cm pieces
- ¼ cup spring onions, white and light green parts only, cut into 5 cm lengths
- 5 cloves confit garlic
- 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine (Shaoxing)
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp cold water
- coriander sprigs, julienned spring onion, to garnish
Toasted garlic oil and confit garlic
- 500 ml (2 cups) peanut oil
- 2 bulbs (1 cup) garlic, cloves separated, peeled and lightly bruised
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.
To make the toasted garlic oil and confit garlic, heat 125 ml (½ cup) of the peanut oil in a wide saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic cloves and cook for about 2 minutes each side until lightly browned. Add the remaining oil and reduce heat to very low. Cook very gently for 20-30 minutes until soft and golden. Allow to cool and transfer to a jar.
Butterfly the prawns by splitting them halfway through the back and spreading them flat with the flat of your knife.
Heat 2 tbsp toasted garlic oil in a wok over high heat. Add the prawns and salt, and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until half-cooked. Add the garlic shoots, spring onion and 5 cloves of confit garlic, and toss for a further minute. Using the back of a chan or wooden spoon, mash the confit garlic in the wok. Add the rice wine and vinegar and toss for 30 seconds. Slowly drizzle over the cornflour mixture while tossing the wok to coat the prawns.
Serve the garlic prawns immediately, garnished with coriander and spring onion.
• Store confit garlic in toasted garlic oil in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 months.