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Kung Pao Prawns

Ming Tsai is joined by his parents who serve up a seafood feast of prawns to go with his special Kung Pao Sauce.


  • 2 pounds large prawns, shell-on and deveined

  • 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced

  • 1 bunch garlic chives, cut into 2-inch lengths

  • 1/2 cup Kung Pao Sauce

  • 1 package mung bean noodle vermicelli

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Canola oil for cooking and deep frying

  • Kung Pao Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic

  • 2 tablespoon minced ginger

  • 2 tablespoons sambal oelek

  • 1 cup naturally brewed dark soy sauce

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 1/2 cup naturally brewed rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water for a slurry

  • Grapeseed or canola oil for cooking

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1.

    Prepare a fryer or a large stock pot filled 1/3 full with oil heated to 375 degrees. Pat prawns dry with paper towel. Add prawns to oil and fry for about 2 minutes, until just cooked through. Remove prawns to a paper towel-lined plate. Meanwhile, in a large wok or saute pan over high heat coated lightly with oil, add onions and garlic chives and stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Add prawns and Kung Pao Sauce and stir-fry to combine. Season if necessary. In same deep-frying oil, add mung bean vermicelli. The noodles will immediately puff up; transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. To serve, set vermicelli in center of platter and top with Kung Pao prawn stir-fry.

  • For the Kung Pao Sauce::

  • 1.

    In a wok or saute pan coated lightly with oil over high heat, add garlic and ginger and saute for 1 minute, just to soften. Add sambal, taking care not to inhale the chile, and saute until well-blended. Add soy sauce to deglaze, then add sugar and rice vinegar. Bring to a boil and slowly whisk in slurry to thicken. Check for flavor and season if necessary. Keep warm to use in recipes or cool to room temperature, store in an air-tight jar and place in the fridge.


Makes about 2 1/2 cups of sauce.

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