Fast Recipes

Typhoon shelter prawns

Love garlic? Love prawns? You'll love this Hong Kong classic.

By Tony Tan
  • Serves 4
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Typoon shelter prawns
If you love garlic and gutsy flavours, this Hong Kong dish, which is often made with crab, ticks all the boxes. The prawns here are cooked with the shells on, but peel them if you prefer.


  • 250 ml (1 cup) vegetable oil
  • 20 peeled garlic cloves (see note), finely chopped
  • 500 gm green prawns, unpeeled
  • 2 red shallots, finely chopped
  • 30 gm ginger, finely chopped
  • 5-8 dried red chillies (or to taste), cut into 1 cm pieces
  • 1 tbsp salted black beans (see note), coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 spring onion, cut into 5 cm lengths
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine (optional)


  • 1
    Heat oil in a wok over low-medium heat. Add garlic and stir continuously until just turning light golden (3-4 minutes). Carefully drain through a fine heatproof sieve set over a heatproof bowl. Drain garlic on paper towels.
  • 2
    Return oil to wok over medium-high heat. Add prawns in batches and deep-fry until shells turn coral-red (about 2 minutes a batch; be careful, hot oil will spit). Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Strain oil into a heatproof bowl and reserve.
  • 3
    Wipe wok clean with paper towels and heat 2 tbsp reserved garlic oil over medium-high heat. Add shallot and ginger, stirring frequently, until light golden and crisp (2-3 minutes). Add chilli and black beans, stir-fry for 1 minute, then add prawns, sugar, half the garlic and 1 tsp salt. Stir-fry until combined (1 minute), then add spring onion and Shaoxing and season to taste. Serve topped with remaining garlic.


This recipe is faster if you buy pre-peeled garlic. Salted black beans are available from Asian grocers.