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Steamed Drunken Prawns

Drunken Prawns
Steamed “Drunken Prawns” in Chinese Wine 醉虾

Drunken prawns (醉虾) is a dish which is unbelievably cheap and easy to prepare at home, but if you were to order it at the restaurant, be prepared to pay at least three times (but usually more) more than it would cost you to prepare it at home. Seafood is always so expensive when it is ordered outside.

Drunken Prawns

If you think that it’s cruel to use live prawns, you can substitute with non-live ones. In my opinion, the key to delicious drunken prawns is to “marinade” them when they are still alive. My (unproven) theory of why Chinese restaurants use live prawns, is that the prawns will ingest some of the wine, hence the wine aroma is deep within the prawns, else the aroma of the Chinese wine is kind of on the surface only. In the case of live prawns, I think the taste is more distinct and sweeter.

Buying Live Prawns in Singapore @ Farmart

If you are looking for affordable live prawns in Singapore, refer to this post :)

Drunken Prawns

(Serves 2)

– 10 live prawns (some call them shrimps)
– 3 tbsp Chinese wine (Hua Diao Jiu 花雕酒 or Shao Xing Jiu 绍兴酒)
– a handful of wolfberries
– 3 thick spring onion stalks (the bottom white part)
– 3 to 5 slices of ginger
– spring onions (cut to wispy thin strips) and coriander

1. Place prawns in a deep vessel with lid (I use my 4.2l slow cooker pot).
2. Drizzle 2 tbsp Chinese wine over prawns and close the lid (because the prawns will jump :P)
3. Wait till the prawns have stopped jumping. This will take about 10 minutes or more.
4. Trim the feelers off the prawns, arrange them in a single layer on a steaming plate that has a bit of depth. Pour the marinating wine over.
5. Place spring onions stalks, ginger and wolfberries on top. Drizzle one more tbsp Chinese wine over the ingredients.
6. Steam till the prawns turn completely red (this takes only a few minutes – do not over cook). Garnish with spring onions strips and coriander.

Drunken Prawns

“Marinating” the prawns “敬酒” :P

Leave a Comment

40 Responses to “Steamed Drunken Prawns”

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  1. Joyce — November 5, 2009 @ 8:50 pm

    Whoa! These look really scrumptious! I cant eat them though bcos of my allergy to prawns, do u there’s a suitable substitute for these prawns?


    • wiffy replied: — November 6th, 2009 @ 3:09 pm

      make “drunken” chicken? steam chicken fillet (NOT live chicken please!) with some chinese wine heheh


  2. Janet@ Gourmet Traveller 88 — November 5, 2009 @ 11:25 pm

    Western people think this is cruel but I like this a lot, wish I could buy live seafood here in Switzerland. You are right this is very expensive to eat in the resto.


  3. Ching — November 5, 2009 @ 11:58 pm

    This is soooo good with live prawns!


  4. tigerfish — November 6, 2009 @ 1:15 am

    敬酒? Need to say “Yum Seng” to the prawns or not? No, I am not being cruel.


    • wiffy replied: — November 6th, 2009 @ 3:10 pm

      hehe … saying yum seng will be too dramatic ;)


  5. pigpigscorner — November 6, 2009 @ 4:42 am

    ahh a perfect way to enjoy those fresh prawns! I wish I can get such fresh prawns here.


  6. Gera @ SweetsFoods — November 6, 2009 @ 6:18 am

    You said 2 magical words cheap and easy much better if it is a visual and yummy feast! :up:




  7. bat_mk — November 6, 2009 @ 7:04 am

    Yummy prawns. :P Will try out this weekend. Thanks for sharing.


    • wiffy replied: — November 6th, 2009 @ 3:10 pm

      hope u like it! tell me how it goes :)


  8. Eat. Travel. Eat! — November 6, 2009 @ 8:12 am

    Ooh…sounds like a great dish if everyone that I eat with enjoys prawns! The drunkening of the prawns sounds like a great cool idea :). They would definitely get some great flavor from the cooking!


  9. JSB — November 6, 2009 @ 9:50 am

    Eeek!! One of my favorite dishes is drunken chicken, never heard of drunken prawns. >.<;; Yes, yes…. thanks for sharing!! :)


  10. lotsofcravings — November 6, 2009 @ 10:01 am

    well at least u r letting them drink their sorrows b4 you give them a sauna rite?


    • wiffy replied: — November 6th, 2009 @ 3:11 pm

      that’s a sobering thought :|


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