Singapore Fried Prawns with Dried Chile

Here is a Singapore classic featuring prawns. Prawns (fresh water shrimp) are used extensively in Asian cooking, and are dried, ground and processed into various types of pungent pastes. The use of twelve cayenne chiles in the sauce for this recipe will definitely give your guests a thrill! Large shrimp could be substituted for prawns.


  • 12 dried cayenne peppers, seeded and crushed
  • 1/4 cup rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 4 thin slices fresh ginger
  • 4 diagonal-cut thin slices green onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1/2 teaspoon cold water
  • Dash of dark soy sauce
  1. For the sauce, combine all the ingredients in small saucepan over high heat and stir until the mixture thickens slightly.


  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons panko bread flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 3 dried piquin chiles, seeded and crushed, or substitute other small, hot dried chiles
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound large prawns, shelled and deveined
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  1. For the prawns, combine the cornstarch and soy sauce in a small bowl and blend until smooth. Add the eggs, flour, salt, piquins and pepper; blend thoroughly.
  2. Heat the oil in large saucepan or deep-fat fryer to 400 degrees F. Meanwhile, pat the prawns dry with paper towels. Dip the prawns into the batter, then drop gently into the oil and fry for about two to three minutes or until they float. Remove the prawns with a slotted spoon and drain well on paper towels.
  3. Add the prawns to the sauce in batches, stirring just enough to coat. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately with rice or spicy Lo Mein.
Photo by Shameel mukkath from Pexels