Kung po prawns

Whip up this budget-friendly, Chinese favourite in just 20 minutes

  • Prep:10 mins
    Cook:10 mins
  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 308
  • fat 18g
  • saturates 3g
  • carbs 13g
  • sugars 6g
  • fibre 1g
  • protein 25g
  • salt 2.07g


  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 400g large raw prawns, frozen is fine, butterflied (see tip, below)
  • 2 tbsp Chinese rice vinegar
  • 1 heaped tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil
  • 85g unsalted, roasted peanuts
  • 6 small or 3 large whole dried chillies
  • 2 x 225g cans water chestnuts, drained
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, finely grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped


To butterfly a prawn, make a cut along the entire length of the prawn, cutting almost all the way through. Pull out the black vein. Butterflying the prawns isn’t essential, but it helps them to cook more quickly, trap sauce and look great on your plate. Watch our step-by-step video on preparing prawns at bbcgoodfood.com.


  1. Mix the cornflour and 1 tbsp soy sauce, toss in the prawns and set aside for 10 mins. Stir the vinegar, remaining soy sauce, tomato purée, sugar and 2 tbsp water together to make a sauce.

  2. When you’re ready to cook, heat a large frying pan or wok until very hot, then add 1 tbsp oil. Fry the prawns until they are golden in places and have opened out– then tip them out of the pan.

  3. Heat the remaining oil and add the peanuts, chillies and water chestnuts. Stir-fry for 2 mins or until the peanuts start to colour, then add the ginger and garlic and fry for 1 more min. Tip in the prawns and sauce and simmer for 2 mins until thickened slightly. Serve with rice.

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