Try this recipe for stir-fried prawns with peppercorns, ginger and soy, then check out our prawns pil pil, healthy prawn stir-fry, tandoori king prawns and more prawn recipes.


  • rapeseed or groundnut oil
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 4cm ginger, grated
  • 1-2 tbsp green peppercorns, dried or fresh, lightly crushed with a pestle and mortar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 600g raw king prawns, shell on and butterflied (see notes below)
  • 100g bag watercress
  • jasmine rice, to serve


  • STEP 1

    Heat a wok over a high heat and add 1 tbsp of oil.

  • STEP 2

    Add the onions and fry for 8-10 minutes until they soften and take on colour.

  • STEP 3

    Add the garlic, ginger and peppercorns, fry for a minute then add the soy, oyster and fish sauces, along with the brown sugar, stirring briefly until mixed.

  • STEP 4

    Add the prawns and toss together over a high heat until they are pink and cooked through (about 5 minutes depending on size).

  • STEP 5

    Turn off the heat and stir through the watercress, quickly tossing together so it wilts.

  • STEP 6

    Serve immediately in warm bowls with rice. Have plenty of napkins and a finger bowl handy, and get stuck in!

You don’t need to butterfly the prawns, and it is a bit fiddly to score through the shells, but it is worth it as it allows the flavour of the peppercorns and sauce to penetrate into the flesh. The trick is to lay the prawn so it’s flat on a board with the back of the prawn facing out and hold it securely in place using the flat of your palm. Then, use a small sharp knife to slice into the shell along its length.


Comments, questions and tips

Rate this recipe

What is your star rating out of 5?

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Overall rating