Peppercorn prawns with fried spinach
  |  First Published: July 2011

This is probably one of the easiest western-modified Chinese dishes you will ever encounter.

My wife has childhood memories of eating this dish with her family on numerous occasions. Unfortunately we have been unsuccessful in finding it anywhere in any restaurant, so why not try and recreate it as best you can yourself?

I recently came home from an overnight highland lakes trip just a few weeks ago and this is what Nicole served me up for dinner once arrived home. It’s so good I had to share it with everyone, but I will give you a tip, frying the spinach and prawns is very messy so if you can do it outside on a wok burner on your BBQ that will save your kitchen cleaning time immensely.

Also use a good quality rice wine, Shao Hsing Cooking Wine is my preferred and remember that it won’t last long once opened (three months max). I would recommend a side of rice with this dish too as it is quite rich!

You can substitute prawns for almost any other seafood, some suggestions would include blue eye, squid or fresh scallops.



700g of green prawn meat

Corn flour for coating prawns

1 medium brown onion sliced

150g baby spinach leaves chopped

700ml peanut oil

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Caster sugar for dusting spinach


½ cup oyster sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon of fine black cracked pepper

½ tablespoon of ground white pepper

Step 1

Mix all ingredients for sauce together.

Step 2

Roughly chop the spinach. Heat peanut oil in wok to 180C. Batch fry handfuls of spinach for 2-minutes, drain on paper towel and sprinkle with caster sugar. Repeat until all spinach has been fried. Place in oven at 150C to keep warm and to dry off.

Step 3

Coat prawns in corn flour and fry off in batches for 1 1/2 minutes in the same peanut oil used above. Place on a paper towel to drain off excess oil. Once all the prawns are cooked remove the oil from the wok.

Step 4

Place sesame oil in the wok with peanut oil residue from frying, fry off onions and then put prawns back in wok and fold through sauce.

Step 5

Place spinach on plate and put prawns on top, grab some chop sticks and go for it.

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