Recipe courtesy of Violet Oon

Singapore Chile Prawns

Singapore Chile Prawns comes from our lively East Coast Seafood tradition. In Singapore, the seafood restaurants have always lined the coast in the Eastern Part of Singapore and today this is still the same with the Seafood Centre offering eight restaurants along the coast, under the coconut trees. This dish is part of the repertoire of Singapore seafood recipes found in the East Coast and is considered one of Singapore's national dishes. The delectable sauce is slurped up with thick slices of white bread — delicious! Serve Singapore Chile Prawns with a tossed salad and you get a wonderful meal for the summer and fall.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 35 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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1 cup water

5 tablespoons tomato catsup

1 1/2 to 3 tablespoons sugar, or to taste

1 1/2 teaspoons corn flour

1 teaspoon pounded brown preserved soya beans or dark miso (optional)

1/4 teaspoons salt


1 pound large, whole prawns (unshelled)

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

8 fresh red chiles, roughly chopped

1 egg

2 scallions, cut into finger lengths

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice

1 small bunch cilantro, cut into 1-inch long pieces

Serving Suggestions: loaf of French bread


  1. Make the Sauce: Whisk together all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Make the Prawns: Cut down the backs of the prawns and remove the black intestinal vein. Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok or shallow saucepan over high heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the chiles and stir-fry for another minute. Add the prawns and stir-fry until the shell turn slightly red, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sauce and stir-fry until the shells turn red.
  4. Break the egg into the wok and, using a fork, streak the egg through the sauce (this is an important step, as the egg has to be in beautiful gold and white streaks). Simmer the sauce for a few seconds and remove from the heat. Stir in the scallions and lime juice.
  5. Transfer the prawns to a platter, garnish with the cilantro, and serve with chunks of French bread.
  6. Note: This dish is also wonderful with mussels, crabs or lobsters; or you could mix all the seafood together. It's a Singapore version of a French seafood stew.
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