Recipe: Black Bean Prawns

This garlicky black bean sauce can be served with prawns or chicken

Credit: iStock/phototropic

This garlicky black bean sauce can be served with prawns or chicken

The sauce in this black bean prawns recipe gets its intense flavour from Chinese black beans as well as garlic

You can use the same sauce with chicken, if you prefer. 


  • 6-8 whole garlic cloves

  • 1 (5-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into small pieces

  • 1/2 cup Chinese fermented black beans

  • 1/3 cup peanut oil

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 2 Tbsp. sesame oil

  • 1 Tbsp. hot chili flakes

  • 1-1/2 lbs. raw prawns (30-32 count), heads removed

  • Cilantro sprigs

  • Sliced green onion


  1. Place garlic and ginger pieces into a mini chopper or small food processor.
  2. Pulse until the mixture is puréed. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Coarsely chop the black beans (or pulse in the mini chopper a few times).
  4. Add beans to the garlic mixture.
  5. Pour in peanut oil, soy sauce, sesame oil and chili flakes, stirring to combine. The consistency should be that of thick barbecue sauce.
  6. Peel the prawns, remove any visible intestines and butterfly them halfway up the back. Toss them with the black bean mixture.
  7. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  8. Heat about 1 Tbsp. peanut oil in a large wok or frying pan over high heat.
  9. Add prawns and sauce and quickly stir-fry for 4 to 5 minutes or until prawns turn bright pink. Take care not to overcook.
  10. Transfer prawns to a serving platter and garnish with the cilantro or green onion.
  11. Serve immediately.

Serves 6. 

Originally published in TV Week. For daily updates, subscribe to the free TV Week e-newsletter, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.