Drunken Prawns

This elegantly simple Cantonese dish isn't likely to be found in Singapore's hawker centers, but it was one of the best things we ate while visiting the island nation. Traditionally, live shrimp are doused with potent rice liquor, which they ingest, and are then flambeed. Our version uses fresh, not live, shrimp instead.

Drunken Prawns
This elegantly simple Cantonese dish was one of the best things we ate while visiting Singapore.
Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. whole medium shrimp
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 (2") piece ginger, peeled and crushed
  • 2 cups Chinese rice wine
  • 2 tbsp. honey

Instructions

  1. Slice through shells of shrimp along backs with a serrated knife, leaving head, shells, and tails on. Devein under running water.
  2. Mix garlic, ginger, and ½ cup of the rice wine in a medium bowl. Add shrimp and stir until well coated; marinate 2 hours.
  3. Pour remaining 1½ cups rice wine into a very hot wok or skillet over high heat. Swirl wok or skillet to coat sides with wine, while adding honey and 1 cup water. Cook 1 minute.
  4. When sauce is very hot, add shrimp and marinade. Cook until shrimp turn bright pink, 1–2 minutes. Serve shrimp in their broth, peeling them as you eat.