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  • Writer's pictureAlissa Love

Chinese Style Drunken Black Pepper Tiger Prawns

Chinese Zhi Char seafood restaurants is the backbone of family gatherings here in Singapore. Zhi Char shops are humble seafood restaurants that serve up home-cooked dishes using the freshest ingredients found in Singapore.

One of my favourite dishes is Black Pepper Crab in one of these places - here's a Tiger Prawn variation that SO EASY, you'd have to try it to believe it. What's great is that this sauce is so versatile, it can be used with any seafood of your choosing.


  • 500g tiger prawns, cleaned, de-veined and shell peeled

  • 2 tablespoon butter

  • 1 sprig curry leaves

  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 sprig spring onion, chopped for garnish


  • 3 whole garlic cloves

  • 1 tablespoon whole black pepper



1. Clean and devein prawns. Leave on the heads so it can absorb all that flavour.

2. In a mortar and pestle, coarsely grind 1 tbsp black pepper and 3 whole garlic cloves. It is important to use fresh black pepper for its robust flavour. Already ground black pepper just doesn't have the same kick!

3️. Heat up your wok and add 2 tbsp butter, and 1 spring curry leaves. Fry quickly and then add your black pepper paste from Step 2.

4️. Add the prawns and stir to combine.

5️. Add 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine, 1 tsp sugar and pinch of salt to taste.

6. Quickly stir everything on high heat until prawns are cooked. They should curl up slightly when cooked.

7️. Serve with a generous sprinkle of chopped spring onion



1. Tidy up - use kitchen scissors to snip the legs, spine and eyes from the head. Peel off the middle shell and leave the head and tail.

2. Devein - use a knife to make a shallow slit around the prawn curve and gently pull out the green/black vein.

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