Garlic prawns and broccoli stir-fry

Adam Liaw
The secret's in the sauce: Garlic prawns and broccoli.
The secret's in the sauce: Garlic prawns and broccoli. Photo: William Meppem

The secret to this dish is getting the consistency of the sauce right. Too thin and it will taste insipid. Too thick and it will be gluggy and sticky. Add the cornflour a little at a time and pay close attention.


12 large prawns, peeled and deveined

1 head broccoli, separated into florets

2 tsp cornflour or potato starch

¼ cup vegetable oil

6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

2 tbsp Shaoxing wine or sherry

1 tbsp oyster sauce

½ tsp sugar

¾ cup unsalted chicken stock

¼ tsp salt


Split the prawns about ¾ of the way through from the back with a knife. With the flat of the knife, lightly press into the split to flatten out the prawn into a butterflied shape. 

Place the broccoli florets into a microwave proof bowl and add two tablespoons of water. Cover with a plate and microwave for 90 seconds, until about halfway cooked.

Combine the cornflour with about ¼ of a cup of cold water and mix well. Heat a wok over high heat and add the vegetable oil and garlic. Toss the garlic for a few seconds until fragrant, then add the prawns. Toss the prawns for about two minutes until lightly cooked. Add the broccoli, then the Shaoxing wine, oyster sauce, sugar, chicken stock and salt. Bring to a simmer and toss well. 

Continue to toss while adding the cornflour mixture a little at a time until the liquid thickens to a silky sauce. Serve immediately.  

Adam's tip If you don't have a wok, you can achieve excellent stir-frying results using a frying pan. My Chinese grandmother stir-fried in a deep frying pan for years, producing some of the best Chinese food imaginable. 

Also try: Adam Liaw's almond tofu with goji tea syrup.

Find more of Adam Liaw's recipes in the Good Food Favourite Recipes cookbook.

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