Chefs' Recipes

Lau's Family Kitchen's prawns and char siu with vermicelli in a claypot

A knockout dish from the family-run Cantonese restaurant in Melbourne.

By Gilbert Lau
  • 10 mins preparation
  • 5 mins cooking (plus soaking)
  • Serves 4
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Lau's Family Kitchen's prawns and char siu with vermicelli in a claypot
Claypot dishes are popular in Cantonese cooking, and this deluxe version made with bean-thread vermicelli noodles (also known as glass or mung bean noodles) served at the now-closed Lau's Family Kitchen was sensational. To serve, Shaoxing wine is poured over before it's rushed to the table, and when the lid is lifted, the fragrance is intoxicating. It's important to have all the ingredients ready before you start cooking since things will move quickly once you get started.


  • 4 large green prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 1 egg, beaten with a pinch of salt
  • 1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 150 gm dried bean-thread vermicelli noodles, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 small celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 120 gm char siu pork, sliced
  • 30 gm XO sauce (see note) mixed with 60ml chicken stock
  • 100 ml Shaoxing wine


  • 1
    Blanch prawns in boiling water until just cooked (2 minutes). Drain and set aside.
  • 2
    Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Pour egg into pan in a thin layer and cook until set (1-2 minutes). Remove egg crêpe and cut into thick strips.
  • 3
    Bring chicken stock, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil to the boil in a large saucepan, then add noodles and cook to soak up the flavours (2 minutes). Drain noodles and set stock aside for another use.
  • 4
    Heat a wok over high heat until smoking, add vegetable oil, then spring onion, celery, char siu and prawns, stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add noodles and XO sauce mixture and stir-fry until noodles are coated with sauce (1-2 minutes). Season to taste and transfer to a hot claypot. Top with egg crêpe and Shaoxing, cover with the lid and place over medium heat to heat through (10-15 seconds) Serve immediately.


XO sauce is available from Asian supermarkets.