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Stir fried basil and chilli prawns recipe

Stir fried basil and chilli prawns recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Seafood
  • Shellfish
  • Prawns

Bouncy, sweet, fragrant and a little spicy... A quick and easy dish for those who love prawns! This is gone within minutes!

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

11 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 500g large prawns
  • salt, sugar and pepper to taste
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, cut in half lengthways and deseeded
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • basil leaves, to garnish

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:5min ›Extra time:1hr › Ready in:1hr15min

  1. Wash the prawns, remove shell & vein. Retain the tail. Pat dry.
  2. Soak prawns in ice cold water & ice cubes with some salt for 1 hour. Drain.
  3. Take half of the chilli and mince. Slice the other half into strips.
  4. Marinate with salt, sugar, pepper, chopped basil, minced garlic & minced red chilli for 10 mins.
  5. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil. Stir fry prawns for 5 mins or till cooked. Mix in chilli strips. Mix well.
  6. Garnish with some fresh sweet basil leaves. Serve with rice or noodles.

Cook's note

Check out the original recipe on my blog, Bits of Taste.

Recently viewed

Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1)

Reviews in English (1)

Made certain changes, trebled the quantity of Garlic and used green chillies instead of red as only the former are readily available here. An easy and flavour-full dish!-10 Nov 2013

Spicy prawn and basil stir-fry (pad grapao goong)

This super fragrant Thai stir-fry with prawns is ready in 20 minutes.


Skill level


  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 6 birds’ eye chillies
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 300 g (10 oz) peeled and deveined prawns
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1 heaped cup holy basil (see Note)
  • Steamed rice to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. Use a mortar and pestle to bruise the garlic and chillies.

2. Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan over high heat. Add the garlic and chilli and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the prawns and stir-fry until almost cooked. Add the oyster sauce, fish sauce and sugar and stir-fry for another minute or until prawns are cooked.

3. Turn off the heat and toss through the basil. Serve with steamed rice.

• Holy basil (called ‘bai grapao’ in Thai) is also known as hot or spicy basil. It can be found at Asian or Thai-specialty grocery stores. Substitute Thai basil or regular Italian basil if unavailable.

Thai Chilli & Basil Fried Rice

Use a mortar and pestle to pound the garlic, chillies and salt to a paste.

Combine the oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce and sugar in a small bowl.

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or frying pan over high heat. Add the onion and the chilli paste and cook for 30 seconds. Then add the prawns and stir-fry for another minue or until the prawns are almost cooked. Add the rice and the oyster sauce mixture and stir-fry until well combined. Now toss through the holy basil. Remove from the heat.

To serve, place 2 slices of chilli into a small bowl. Spoon in some of the fried rice and push down firmly. Tip out onto a serving plate. Repeat for remaining serves. Add a wedge of lime and a couple of spring onions to each plate.

Holy basil is known in Thailand as ‘bai graprao’ and also known as hot or spicy basil. Use Italian basil if unavailable.

The sauce is essentially a quick and easy Chilli Jam – and it’s lip smackingly delish!

I promise I’m not exaggerating when I say that this really does taste like Spicy Stir Fries you get from modern Asian restaurants. I don’t claim this to be authentic Asian because it probably isn’t an authentic Asian stir fry but every ingredient in the sauce is certainly used in many Asian dishes!

Prawn, basil and chilli stir-fry

1. Cook rice Use absorption method: wash rice thoroughly until water runs clear. Place rice and water in saucepan and bring slowly to boil. Cover and simmer gently over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and leave undisturbed for 10 minutes before serving.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in wok (or frying pan) over medium heat. Stir-fry prawns for 2 minutes. Add sugar snaps and stir-fry for further 1 minute. Using slotted spoon, remove prawns and sugar snaps from pan and put on plate.

3. Reduce heat and add garlic to pan. Fry for 10 seconds, then add sweet chilli, fish sauce, soy sauce and 1⁄3 cup cold water. Bring to boil and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until thickened. Return prawns and snap peas to pan and heat through for 1 minute. Sprinkle over basil leaves and serve with rice.
Don't overcook your prawns as they'll end up tough and chewy.


Chinese Prawns with Cashew Nuts, Asparagus & Pak Choi. This 10 minute recipe was inspired by a favourite dish from a favourite restaurant (@hakkasanhanway ) that I haven’t visited for far too long! I must rectify that this summer! Their version produces crispy prawns (I think by frying in more oil) and I didn’t really achieve that here but all the same, I was really chuffed with the result! The cornflour and egg gives the prawns a slight coating. If you did want the prawns crispy you could fry in oil but I simply stir fried them and then added the rest of the ingredients to create a sticky sauce. Of course as always I went a bit off piste from the original dish and added seasonal asparagus and some Pak Choi leaves as I’m growing them for the first time this year!

I’m experimenting with another Hakkasan inspired dish today - twice cooked sticky pork belly. That definitely won’t be a 10 minute recipe!

2 tbsp ground nut oil
24 large king prawns
1 tbsp cornflour
1 beaten egg
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine
2 tbsp honey
4 tbsp cashew nuts
1 garlic clove crushed
1 chilli deseeded and chopped
150g asparagus trimmed and cut into 5cm pieces
150g Pak Choi

Toss the prawns in the cornflour.

Whisk the egg together with 1 tbsp each of soy and rice wine. Pour over the prawns.

Heat the oil in a pan and when hot, remove the prawns from the eggy mixture using a slotted spoon and add them to the pan. Sir fry for a couple of minutes. Once the prawns have turned pink lift them out.

Add the asparagus, cashew nuts, garlic and chilli to the pan. Stir fry for a couple of minutes before adding the Pak Choi. Give the Pak Choi a minute to start wilting then return the prawns together with the remaining rice wine, soy and the honey. Cook for 1 minute and serve.

Prawns kindly gifted from @sankeyfish

Anna's Family Kitchen

Twice Cooked Vietnamese Pork. Gosh this was a triumph. Meltingly tender pulled pork meat with a slightly sweet and spicy crust drizzled in the juices I reserved from a 6 hour slow cook in an easy Asian stock. This recipe requires a little more effort & planning but it’s still very straight forward. I slow cooked the pork on Thursday - a case of whacking it in the oven in the throw together stock when I went on the school run. I then took it out, let it cool and put it in the fridge until last night. Then it’s a case of prepping the glaze (which takes 5 minutes) & another 20 minutes in the oven. It can all be done over one day too, just make sure the first cook starts in the morning!

1.3kg pork belly, boned, rind on (my was kindly # gifted by @ianchatfield who deliver country wide)
For the stock:-
800ml chicken stock
4 tbsp soy
4 tbsp rice wine (or Mirin)
5cm ginger roundly chopped
3 garlic cloves roughly chopped
4 star anise

For the glaze:-
2 tbsp soy
2 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp brown sugar
Juice of a lime
1 chilli deseeded
2 garlic cloves
2cm ginger

Start by combining all the stock in a deep oven proof tray and add the pork. It doesn’t need to be covered completely but the stock should come up to the rind.

Cover and put in the oven at 190 for 10 minutes then drop the oven temp to 130 fan and leave for 6 hours.

If second cooking on the same day, leave the pork to cool slightly in the stock until it’s cool enough to handle. Otherwise cool and put in the fridge.

If you refrigerate the pork and it’s stock, there will be a layer of white fat on top of the stock - just skim that off with a spoon and dispose of it.

Strain the stock abs reheat when ready for drizzling.

For the glaze, it’s easiest to blitz all the ingredients in a blender. Heat for a couple of minutes in a pan until the glaze becomes syrupy.

Cut the ribs off by running a knife through the layer of fat under the rind. Cross cross the white fat with a sharp knife and cover with the glaze.

Spicy Clams with Basil Recipe

This Spicy Clams with Basil Sauce dish looks and tastes like a million bucks. The Thai basil adds color and compliments the unique flavor of clams. The best part is that it takes about 10 minutes to prepare

  • 2 crushed chili peppers
  • 3 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 lbs Manila Clams
  • 1 tablespoon Nam Prig Pow
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 bunch picked Thai basil
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

Tips and Techniques

The success of this dish is in the freshness of the clams.

After the clams are cooked, discard the unopened ones. Curiosity kills the cat, I have found some to be full of mud!


Slice the chili pepper lengthwise into thin strips. You can also substitute red bell pepper or other sweet peppers, if you don't like it hot. Rinse and scrub (if needed) the clams and let them drain.

Add a tablespoon of oil to a wok over high heat. Add garlic and chili pepper. Immediately add clams and stir. The clam juice will start to come out. Stir until all the clams open. The clams I use open after 4 minutes of high heat. Add fish sauce, nam prig pow and sugar and stir to mix the seasonings in. Add Thai basil. Stir and quickly remove from heat. Serve hot with rice.

1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 6 7 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Stir-Fried Prawns with Sweet Soy Sauce and Basil

What I like making stir-fry dishes is that I can use endless combinations of ingredients. The stir-fried prawns were paired with some condiments often used in Asian cooking.

If you have Thai or Taiwanese basil, feel free to use them. I just picked some sweet basil from my backyard. Its sweet fragrance penetrates the prawn meat and will make you feel very refreshing.

The sweet soy sauce used is called ABC, has a unique malty flavour. Just browsing the ingredient list in the recipe, will it make you feel like to give it a go?

  • 200 gm medium prawns / shrimps
  • 2 tsp cornflour / corn starch
  • salt, to taste
  • white pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp shaoxing wine
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 red chilli, roughly chopped
  • ½ capsicum, roughly chopped
  • 1to 2 Tbsp chicken stock
  • 2 tsp sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
  • 1 tsp Tamarind puree
  • 1 sprig basil, leaves only

  1. Peel and devein the prawns. Mix with the cornflour and salt. Set aside for 10 minutes. Rinse the prawns with running cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the prawns in one single layer, until both sides change colour. Sprinkle wine. Stir to combine. Set aside.
  3. Add in a little of oil in the pan. Saute garlic and chilli. Add the capsicum and stir fry. Pour in the chicken stock. Toss back the prawns. Stir in sweet soy sauce and Tamarind puree. Quickly combine. Taste and season with salt if needed. Turn off the heat. Stir in the basil leaves. Done. Serve immediately.
  • By mixing the prawns with cornflour and salt for a while, then rinsing with cold water, it helps the prawn meat to keep smooth and crunchy.
  • The brand of sweet soy sauce is called ABC that I used to make the satay sauce. See the picture there.
  • Tamarind puree is made from tamarind fruit that tastes slightly sour and just right to balance the sweetness and saltiness of soy sauce. It takes the whole dish up a level. It’s available at Asian grocers.

***If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #christinesrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.

Chicken stir fry with chilli paste and Thai basil

So, first the chilli paste in oil, or nam prik pao. If you like cooking Thai food, you may have a jar of this in the cupboard or fridge already.

If you don't - and you fancy making it - I've a very simple version that's super-quick to make right here.

You can use the nam prik pao in a tom yum soup, or in this lovely squid stir fry. It's also just a really versatile condiment and I just might have been known to scoop a little on cheese on toast or have with shepherd's pie too .

If you've got some nam prik pao, and you've made the rice to serve with this in advance, then you're basically ready to go - as this stir fry is quick to make.

2 cloves of garlic, flattened and chopped

1 chicken breast, minced (in the food processor, or chopped as I prefer to do it)

1 heaped tablespoon chilli paste in oil (nam prik pao)

some chopped veg (I had red and yellow peppers, a mushroom and a few spring onions)

a tablespoon or so of water

a big handful of Thai sweet basil leaves, or 1.5 teaspoons of jarred Thai basil

David Thompson: Stir-fried minced beef with chillies and holy basil (Neua pat bai grapao)

Australian Gourmet Traveller Thai recipe for stir-fried minced beef with chillies and holy basil (Neua pat bai grapao) by David Thompson.

David Thompson: Stir-fried minced beef with chillies and holy basil (Neua pat bai grapao)


  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4-10 bird’s eye chillies (scuds)
  • Good pinch of salt
  • 3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 200 gm coarsely minced beef
  • About 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • Large pinch of white sugar
  • ¼ cup stock or water
  • 2 large handfuls of holy basil leaves
  • To serve: chillies in fish sauce
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 10-15 bird’s eye chillies (scuds), finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced (optional but desirable)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice (optional)
  • Good pinch of chopped coriander



Note This recipe is from Thai Street Food by David Thompson, published by Penguin Lantern ($100, hbk), and appeared in the November 2009 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller. The specialty ingredients used in these recipes are available from Asian supermarkets and Asian greengrocers. David Thompson's recipes are reproduced here without Gourmet Traveller style changes.


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