Chinese-style prawns and eggs with oyster sauce

Adam Liaw
Keep it simple: Chinese omelette with prawns and oyster sauce.
Keep it simple: Chinese omelette with prawns and oyster sauce. Photo: William Meppem
Difficulty
Easy

Good wok technique is the key to a good stir-fry and the difference between soggy and punchy (see tips below). But it's also best to keep things simple - so don't overcomplicate things. This Cantonese-style prawn and egg dish is sometimes referred to as a Chinese omelette or Chinese scrambled eggs. It's a great match with steamed rice.

Ingredients

4 free-range eggs

1/2 cup chicken stock

1 tbsp fish sauce

1/2 tsp caster sugar

2 tbsp vegetable oil

3 spring onions, finely sliced

8 large green prawns, peeled

white pepper, to serve

Oyster sauce

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1/4 cup oyster sauce

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/2 tsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp water

Method

1. For the sauce, combine the vegetable oil, oyster sauce and chicken stock in a wok or small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the cornflour mixture and stir until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Whisk the eggs, stock, fish sauce and sugar together in a bowl until well combined.

3. Slice down the backs of each prawn nearly all the way through and slightly flatten each by pressing the cut with the flat of a knife.

4. Heat the wok until very hot, than add the oil and fry the spring onions and prawns for about 1 minute, until the prawns curl and start to turn orange. Add the egg mixture and draw a spatula slowly through and fold the mixture, as if you are making scrambled eggs.

5. When the eggs are very nearly set and the prawns are cooked through, remove to a plate and pour the oyster sauce on top. Serve immediately.

ADAM'S WOK TIPS

The best woks are thin, carbon-steel ones no larger than about 35cm in diameter. Season them as you would cast-iron cookware. If you buy one from an Asian grocery store, it will only cost about $20.

Knowing how to use a wok is one of the most useful skills to have in the kitchen.

When cooking with a wok, it is always best to keep in mind that your domestic stove top is about four times less powerful than a commercial wok burner. While restaurant chefs toss and clatter their woks like frantic drummers, on smaller home stoves proper wok technique is a lot less energetic.

Let your wok get really hot, then fry your ingredients undisturbed until well browned and flavourful. There's no need to constantly stir your stir-fries!

A simple toss every so often will get better results. Never overcrowd your wok, either. If you put too much into it your ingredients will give off too much liquid and you'll end up steaming instead of frying them.


Photography
by William Meppem. Food preparation by Maxwell Adey. Styling by Hannah Meppem