Wok-fried pepper prawns

Wok-fried pepper prawns
Wok-fried pepper prawns 

This chilli and pepper-inspired prawn stir-fry is an all-embracing fire-in-the-belly cook-up, softened by the addition of lime and lemongrass.


1 tsp coarse sea salt

1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns

1 tsp black peppercorns

1 tbsp light sesame oil or safflower oil

3 kaffir lime leaves, kept whole

3cm lemongrass stalk, cut into thin rounds

1kg whole green king prawns

½ tsp sambal oelek (fresh chilli paste), optional

2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped

juice of 1 lime


Heat a wok and gently heat the salt, stirring until it turns grey (about 3 minutes). Pour into a mortar. Add the Sichuan and black peppercorns to the hot wok and dry-roast until fragrant. Grind with the salt to a coarse consistency in the mortar. Set aside.

Re-heat the wok and add the oil, followed by the lime leaves and lemongrass. Toss for a few minutes, add the prawns and stirfry for 3 to 5 minutes.

Spoon in the sambal oelek and ground pepper mix. Keep stirring for a few minutes longer, until the prawns turn red.

Remove from the heat and sprinkle with coriander leaves and a squeeze of lime juice.

Dish it up hot from the wok adorned with scorched peppercorns and serve with a refreshingly cool salad to quell the fire.