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Philippe Chow’s Nine Seasons Spicy Prawns


Philippe Chow may have put satay on the map, but that doesn’t mean the famous Chinese chef doesn’t know his way around a pepper. One of the most famous dishes at his eponymous restaurant, Philippe (with locations in New York and L.A.), is the Nine Seasons Spicy Prawns.


For the prawns:

  • 9 large prawns
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 egg

For the sauce:

  • Vegetable oil, for sauteing
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Thai dried chile peppers, chopped
  • 1/4 Cup vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Scallions, minced
  • Cooked white rice, for serving


For the prawns:

Peel and devein the prawns, then place in a bowl with the cornstarch, oil, salt, pepper, and egg. Mix together and then let sit in a cool place to marinate for about 30 minutes.

Deep-fry the shrimp in hot oil until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Drain the oil from the prawns.

For the sauce:

In a hot wok, add just enough oil to coat the wok. Add garlic and chiles, then cook until soft, about 10 seconds (may take slightly longer depending on how hot your wok is). Add the vinegar, sugar, and salt to the hot wok and cook until the sauce thickens. Add the prawns to the wok, toss to coat, and then serve on a platter for sharing. You can garnish with freshly minced scallions and serve with rice.