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).
Three simple steps to cook
Prawns have a beautiful taste on their own and usually require a minimum amount of preparation. In Chinese cuisine, prawns and other seafood are often briefly steamed to preserve their natural flavour. Steamed garlic prawns with vermicelli is a classic dish often served on special occasions. It tastes great and looks sophisticated. In fact, it’s super easy to prepare. Here are the three 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.
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 minced fresh chilli 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.
I use light soy sauce, rice wine, white pepper, sugar and salt to make up the sauce. If you have shop-bought seasoned soy sauce for seafood to hand, you can simply use that instead.
Vermicelli absorbs all the flavour
In this dish, vermicelli refers to Chinese mung bean vermicelli noodles (Fen Si, 粉丝) , a widely used ingredient in Chinese cuisine. Unlike regular noodles, they are seldom served as a staple food. You can find them in stir-fry, 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.
Looking for more inspirations for cooking fish & seafood? Check out other recipes on the blog:
- Kung Pao Shrimp (宫保虾仁)
- Sichuan Boiled Fish (水煮鱼)
- Sweet & Sour Fish (糖醋鱼)
- Steamed Salmon with Scallion Oil (葱油三文鱼)
Steamed garlic prawns with vermicelli (蒜蓉粉丝蒸虾)
- 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.