A tasty dish with little preparation, steamed garlic prawns with vermicelli only takes a few minutes to cook. Read my post to learn how to make this classic dish packed with flavours.
When dining out, prawn dishes are what I most frequently order. Provided they are fresh, they are always delicious regardless of the style of dish. Today I’m sharing one of my favourite prawn dishes that involves very little effort: Steamed garlic prawns with vermicelli (蒜蓉粉丝蒸虾).
Garlicky, spicy and savoury
There is no doubt that prawns and garlic are a perfect pair. So be generous with the garlic. The use of homemade chili garlic sauce (or minced fresh chili) is my personal touch. It gives the dish another dimension in flavour. In my version of steamed garlic prawns, I briefly fry garlic and chilli in oil before mixing with other sauce. This will maximise their flavour.
Vermicelli absorbs all the flavour
In this dish, vermicelli refers to Chinese mung bean vermicelli noodles (Fen Si/粉丝, see image below) , a widely used ingredient in Chinese cuisine. Unlike regular noodles, they are seldom served as a staple food. You can find them in stir-fries (e.g. Sichuan Spicy Vermicelli), salad, stew, soup or steamed dish like this one.
Mung bean vermicelli noodles come in a dry form so soaking beforehand is always required. When cooked, they become very soft, transparent and slippery. Having a rather plain taste, they are great at absorbing flavours from other ingredients and sauces. Also, in my post on “How to make great dumpling fillings” I suggest you add vermicelli noodles to absorb excess liquid if your vegetarian/vegan filling seems too wet.
Three simple steps to cook
In Chinese cuisine, prawns and other seafood or fish usually require a minimum amount of preparation. They are often briefly steamed to preserve their natural flavour. Cantonese Steamed Fish is a classic example.
Steamed garlic prawns with vermicelli may look sophisticated. In fact, it’s super easy to prepare. Here are the simple steps:
- Place soaked vermicelli on a plate then top with peeled prawns.
- Fry garlic and chilli for a few seconds then mix with other condiments.
- Pour the sauce over the prawns then steam for 5 minutes.
Other Fish & Seafood Dishes
Looking for more inspirations for cooking fish and seafood? Check out other delicious recipes on the blog:
- Salt & Pepper Shrimp (椒盐虾)
- Sichuan Boiled Fish (水煮鱼)
- Shrimp & Egg Stir-fry (滑蛋虾仁)
- Kung Pao Shrimp (宫保虾仁)
- Sweet & Sour Fish (糖醋鱼)
Steamed garlic prawns with vermicelli (蒜蓉粉丝蒸虾)
- 100 g mung bean vermicelli noodles, 3.5oz
- 10 tiger prawns, about 250g / 9oz
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 2 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoon pickled chili garlic sauce, or minced fresh chili
- 2 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
- 1 tablespoon water
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 pinch salt
- chopped scallions, for garnishing
- Soak vermicelli noodles in warm water for 5 minutes (or in cold water for 10 minutes) until they are soft and pliable. Rinse under cold water and drain. Then place them onto a plate.
- Peel the body shell of the prawns (keep the head and the tail). Put them flat on a chopping board then cut sideways from the back (Do not cut through). Then place them on top of the noodles with the body part open flat (see pictures above).
- Fry garlic and chilli in oil over a medium heat until fragrant (do not burn). Transfer to a small bowl. Add soy sauce, rice wine, water, white pepper, sugar and salt, then mix well.
- Spoon the sauce onto the prawns. Then place the plate into a steamer filled with water. Bring the water to a boil. Then leave to steam over a low heat for 5 minutes (see note).
- Garnish with spring onion if you wish. Serve warm with plain rice.