Noob Cook Recipes

Ramen Eggs Recipe Cabbage Rice Recipe Scrambled Eggs with Cheese and Hotdog Recipe Acar Recipe Udon Noodle Soup with Pork Recipe Mentaiko Pasta Recipe

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”

  1. reena — December 5, 2009 @ 1:41 am

    I can’t do this with live prawns, I always pre-marinate chinese cooking wine (sometimes I use Martel) on dead but fresh prawns. During wedding dinners, will always keep some stomach space for this dish. But unfortunately, not many will serve this dish for their weddings now.


    • wiffy replied: — December 5th, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

      Yeah I seldom see this dish during Chinese weddings too. Usually they serve more fancy prawn dishes. I like the idea of using Martel. :-)


  2. Angie — March 14, 2010 @ 4:01 pm

    Another winner! I tweaked it a little and added the Chinese herb yu zhu.


    • wiffy replied: — March 14th, 2010 @ 9:16 pm

      The addition of yu zhu sounds good, I’ll try it next time too. Thanks for sharing :)


  3. yanny — November 19, 2010 @ 9:51 am

    I think cooking live prawns is quite ‘humane’ if it’s drunken prawns.. Because they’re already dead drunk by the time you cook them.. :-P


  4. yanny — November 19, 2010 @ 9:56 am

    No need salt in recipe?


  5. Mich — January 6, 2013 @ 6:17 pm

    Not sure if you would mind this silly question but don’t we need to wash the prawns first ? I know they are live, but how do we know the waters they are stored in are clean ?

    Also, 2 tbsp can barely cover the prawns so I suppose only some of them can ingest the wine ?
    Thanks in advance! I absolutely love your website. :D


  6. SeL — October 1, 2013 @ 9:27 pm

    Thanks for the recipe!
    When I told my mum on having this @ home
    She made it sound like it was rocket science! Lol
    Gona show her how simple it is!

    Thank You! :-)