Har luk (festive prawn) is a popular festive dish simply because everyone loves prawns and a big pink prawn on the plate is a luxurious treat.
The Cantonese also love them because “prawns” sound like “laughter” in the dialect. This is an old-time recipe that deserves a revival for its simplicity and great taste.
8-10 large grey prawns
2 bunches spring onions, cut into 5 cm lengths
5cm knob ginger, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon quality light soya sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese wine
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1. Trim off prawn feelers and feet. Remove one segment of shell and slit the back to remove dark veins.
2. Rinse prawns and pat very dry.
3. Heat up oil in a large wok and fry the ginger slices and spring onions until they start to caramelise around the edges.
4. Add prawns and stir-fry over high heat until they turn pink.
5. Lower heat and add soya sauce, sesame oil and sugar. Drizzle the Chinese wine down the side of the frying pan and toss to coat the prawns with gravy.
6. Serve garnished with more spring onions and maybe some red chili strips.
Pauline D Loh is a journalist, culinary researcher and cookbook author with a particular interest in food culture and history. Currently working on her fourth and fifth cookbooks, Pauline also maintains a food and travel column in China daily, China's largest English news publication.