Garlic-Brandy Prawns

Garlic Brandy Prawns Recipe

This is my favorite way to eat prawns! It only takes 15 minutes to make and the brandy adds unexpected sweetness and depth of flavor. By the way, prawn and shrimp are one and the same. Mom taught me how to make this. Prawns vs. Shrimp: Its the same thing. No difference. I just like calling big shrimp “prawns” – just a fancier word for $4 more a pound.


Garlic Brandy Prawns

Servings: Serves 4 as part of multi-course meal. Prep Time: Cook Time:


1 lb tail-on shrimp/prawns, deveined
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbl butter
2 stalks green onion, cut into 2” pieces
1 tbl brandy
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tbl cooking oil


Rinse prawns, pat completely dry and marinate in cornstarch and 1/2 tsp kosher salt for 5 minutes. Heat your wok or large skillet over high heat. When wok is hot, add 2 tbl cooking oil. When oil is hot and just starting to smoke, add prawns. Fry until they are half-done, approximately 1-2 minutes. Remove from wok, leaving the oil in the wok.

Turn heat to medium-high. Add the garlic, fry for 10 seconds. Add the brandy, salt, sugar, butter. Cook sauce for 1 minute to thicken slightly. Add the half-cooked prawns and green onion. Fry until prawns are cooked through, about 2 minutes (depends on size of your prawns)

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Comments 17

  1. Danielle

    I’m reading back in your archives a bit, in case you can’t tell. ^^ These look great! I’ll be making them soon, definitely.

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  3. Helene

    I love garlic prawns, and brandy added sounds even better! The butter in the sauce kind of threw me, first time I’ve seen butter as an ingredient in asian cooking. I really like the flavor of peanut oil and will use that instead. I’m anxious to try this.

  4. David

    Great recipe. For all kosher lovers, don’t be afraid. There seems to be a new kosher brandy on the market, so you can also take this yummy recipe for a ride.

    David Gershon

  5. Deb

    Just tried this recipe out in preparation for a Chinese New Year Banquet/Birthday dinner this week. I have to say it was a disappointment (sorry!). Despite using the precise amounts of kosher salt specified in the recipe, I just found it too salty for my tastes (and I CRAVE salt!). Maybe it was the shrimp?

  6. SteamyKitchen

    Hey Deb,

    Sorry that you didn’t enjoy the recipe – just reviewed the recipe and all measurements for salt were correct. It shouldn’t be the shrimp – did you use 1 pound of shrimp? How big/small were the shrimp? Looking forward to troubleshooting w/you.


  7. Deb

    Thanks Jaden!

    I used just over a pound of 26-30 count shrimp. BUT, I think I figured out where the additional salt came from! I used salted butter in the dish and probably should have used unsalted. Next time, I’ll know better!

  8. brain train

    I just prepared this recipe. I’m a college student, so I don’t always have a ton of time or ingrediants to work with and this was a pretty rad deal. Instead of corn-starch I used flower, to give a bit of a lightly battered feel to the dish, and it worked great. Since I didn’t exactly have a pound of shrimp I just kinda eyeballed the measurements. some salt, some sugar, some flour, bit of butter and BAM, turned out great! Perfect balance of sweet and salty! Put it on some rice and I was in heaven. I also used this great pear brandy I have and that gave it a great rich flavor. I’ll have to try it with the original ingredients at some point, but until then I really liked it this way. Thanks for the recipe, I’m sure I’ll use it again!

  9. Nikmah

    Frankly I found many useful recipes at your site, I like it and I have add your side address as my bookmark.

    Thanks alot for all your recipe’s contents.

  10. Sarah

    I made this as a noodle dish: doubled the butter and brandy for more liquid (and then threw even more in!). Came out GREAT!

  11. Stephen

    RE David Gershon’s comment [5-27-08] on a kosher brandy for the dish. David’s humor right? Great to have a kosher brandy for the dish — but where do you find the Kosher Shrimp?!

  12. SBrowne

    Just tried these tonight — I love it! It was my first time making shrimp, so I was a little nervous about keeping everything clean, but they came out great! Garlic, butter, brandy, and shrimp strike a good balance. I forgot to add the green onions, so I’ll have to try that next time. Thanks!

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