Prawn with soy stir-fry

Mother woke up early for the market last Sunday and invited a bunch of fresh shrimps to our house. We live in a middle-sized city with close proximity to Malaysia and Singapore. Good quality seafood are great export products so we don’t see much of them in the traditional wet markets. But on Sundays when the market goers’ number peaked, seafood vendors try to bring in as much good stuff as they can. That would explain my mother’s favorite weekend chore to drag me out of bed at 6.30 am to drive her to the market. Enough ranting? Okay, let’s move on.

The first dish we cooked with the precious prawns was our all time childhood favorite, prawn with soy sauce stir-fry. This dish generates the sweet and tangy taste from the generous use of sweet soy sauce. We are the proud aficionado of Indonesian sweet soy sauce. There is absolutely nothing that can substitute it. The sauce lends the richness of color and taste to our Indonesian dishes. For true foodie snobs, condiments such as sauces are not supposed to overwhelm the true taste of the main ingredients of any dish. But we just don’t care. We love our sweet soy sauce (kecap manis).

Step-by-step prawn with soy stir-fry

As usual, mother insisted on deep-frying the shrimps with skin on. This is definitely not your healthy seafood stir-fry, simple and quick stir-frying would be equally delicious. The skin and head are discarded, the tails are left intact. We stir-fried shallots with chili slices and sweet soy sauce. These are cooked till the chilies are soft and shallots are wilted.

Stir-frying soy prawn

The prawns are added last. The sauce are caramelized over high heat, the prawns will be beautifully cooked, simmering in the sweet sauce with a mild taste of chili and shallot. Beautiful and easy!

Prawn with soy stir-fry


Prawy with Soy Sauce Stir-fry

Makes 2 servings


200 g medium sized prawns
2 tbsp cooking oil, and more for deep-frying prawns
4 shallots, sliced thinly
5 chilies, sliced thinly
5 tbsp sweet soy sauce or Indonesian Kecap Manis
1/2 cup warm water


Deep-fry prawns with skin on for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain on paper towel

Heat cooking oil in a wok. Stir fry shallot, chilies quickly. Add sweet soy sauce and warm water. Cook for another 2 minutes over high heat

Toss in the prawns. Simmer over medium heat for 2 more minutes

Serve with warm rice

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13 Responses to “Prawn with Soy Sauce Stir-fry”

  1. 1

    Lia Chen — October 29, 2010 @ 12:21 pm

    Love your beautiful yummylicious blog! Love sweet soy sauce a lot too … Your prawns dish is awesome (^.^)

    • Jun replied: — November 5th, 2010 @ 1:56 am

      Thank’s for your visit, Lia!

  2. 2

    Soma — October 31, 2010 @ 2:53 pm

    Makes me wanna grab the bowl. your space here is beautiful! subscribing…

    • Jun replied: — November 5th, 2010 @ 1:57 am

      Thank you for your comment!

  3. 3

    noobcook — November 1, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

    You always cook such great looking, restaurant-quality food, Jun!

    • Jun replied: — November 5th, 2010 @ 1:57 am

      Ditto, Wiffy! :)

  4. 4

    thoma — November 19, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

    these prawns look so fresh. i guess there’s nothing cleverer than using freshest ingredients and meat and fish.

    congrats! you’ve an award to pick from my blog.

    • Jun replied: — November 22nd, 2010 @ 8:51 am

      That would require many, many trips to our local wet market. :(
      Thanks for your visit, Thoma!

  5. 5

    thoma — November 29, 2010 @ 10:23 am


    yet another doubt. don’t you de vein the prawns because the recipe says fry with skin on??

    • Jun replied: — December 4th, 2010 @ 4:27 am

      Yeah I didn’t de vein the prawns because my mother insisted on frying the prawns in advance with the skin on. She reckoned the prawns will stay juicier that way – because the outer part is protected by the skin. :)

  6. 6

    Phrosty — December 7, 2010 @ 4:16 pm

    I made this today for lunch. It was absolutely delicious. The only thing I did differently was I went ahead and peeled the shrimp, fried them in the 2 tablespoons of oil (sesame), then removed them with a slotted spoon and set them aside to continue as instructed. I’ll definitely be making this again.

  7. 7

    Bineth — January 19, 2011 @ 5:36 pm

    Hi Jun,

    Could you let me know how many tbsp of Kecap manis you use please. Thanks!


  8. 8

    Lena — February 24, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

    Simple to make and it looks delicious!

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