chilli prawns

Chilli prawns recipe

By Swasthi on August 8, 2022, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Chilli prawns recipe with video – Indo chinese style chilli prawns that can be served as a starter or a side with fried rice or Chinese style Noodles or simple Pasta dishes. There are many ways a Indo chinese chilli recipe is made, this recipe is quite simple and made with very few ingredients and mostly healthy since there is no deep frying involved. This chilli prawns recipe just takes about 20 mins including the preparation time if you have the cleaned & brined prawns ready.

chilli prawns recipe

I have a very long list of recipe requests from readers, but haven’t been able to share most of them due to time constraints. Hopefully I will be able to share at least some of them from now on.

This chilli prawns recipe is roughly adapted from the chilli chicken recipe on the blog except I haven’t deep fried the prawns here. This recipe also involves brining the prawns to give a soft tender texture and prevents them from turning rubbery or hard if cooked right. However you can also skip that here if you follow any other method of tenderizing them.

Make sure you cook only until they get a C shape, do not overcook them. If you brine the prawns, it is good not to batter fry them as they will not turn crispy or crunchy even if you deep fry them. Brined prawns are good for soup or curry recipes not for deep fry as they may turn very soft and soggy.

I have followed the method of sprinkling flour over the brined prawns so that the excess moisture in them will be absorbed by the flour. Though they do not turn out to be crusty like pakora, the flour coating turns out to be crusty and tastes delicious after it is being added to the chilli sauce.

I do not make Indo chinese gravy recipes often as they need lot of sauces, corn flour etc which are not healthy. However I have added in the notes on how to make gravy version of this chilli prawns.

For health reasons, do use only organic plain flour, soya sauce and good quality corn flour. Refrain from using sauces that have unhealthy additives.

For more Indo chinese recipes, you may like to check
Chilli chicken
Chilli paneer
Chilli potato
Chilli mushroom

Chilli prawns recipe

chilli prawns recipe

Chilli prawns

Garlic chilli prawns is a popular appetizer from the Indo chinese cuisine. Prawns in spicy, hot, sweet and sour sauce.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Servings2 to 3

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

Brining (30 mins, optional)

  • 1 ½ tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt preferably sea salt
  • 1 cup water

For marination

  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • 1 tbsp plain flour or maida (organic or unbleached)

For sauce

  • 1 ½ tbsps oil for frying prawns
  • 1 tbsp olive or sesame oil for sauce
  • ½ cup capsicum cubed or bell pepper
  • ¼ cup Spring onions or ½ cup cubed onions layers seperated or as desired
  • 1 tbsp garlic chopped
  • 1 to 2 green chili slit
  • 1 ½ tbsps. Chilli sauce (I use sweet & hot chilli sauce, refer notes)
  • 1 to 1 ½ tsp soya sauce (low salt)
  • 1 to 1 ½ tsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp chili powder with 2 tbsps water or 1 tbsp chili paste
  • 250 grams deveined prawns about 8 to 12 large
  • ½ tsp pepper crushed
  • ½ tsp sugar


Preparation for chilli prawns

  • Devein and clean the prawns well. Rinse them under running water.
  • Add sugar and salt to a bowl. Pour 1 cup of water. Stir well and add the prawns to this liquid.
  • Set aside for 30 mins, meanwhile proceed with other preparation.
  • Drain the water completely from the prawns and add corn flour, plain flour and  pepper. Mix every thing well and set aside for 10 mins. This helps the excess moisture from the prawns to be released and make the flour moist.
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry the prawns on a medium heat. Gently flipping to and fro. Since they are brined the cooking time reduces to half. So they just get done under 3 mins, though it depends on the size of the prawns. The prawns swril and take a C shape when are done. Do not overcook they will turn hard and rubbery.
  • By then the flour coated over the prawns turn crisp. Set these aside to a absorbent tissue.

How to make chilli prawns

  • Clear up the pan and add more oil. Saute garlic until fragrant. Add chilies, capsicum and onion cubes or spring onions. Sprinkle very little salt and sugar.
  • Saute on a high flame just for one to 2 mins until the bell peppers are half cooked yet retain their crunch.
  • Add chilli sauce, chilli paste, soya sauce, vinegar and pepper. You will also need to add 2 tbsps of water.
  • Mix and allow the sauces to bubble. Taste this and add more spice or sauce if you like.
  • Switch off the stove and add the prawns.
  • Toss well and add spring onion greens if you have in hand.
  • Serve chilli prawns immediately to enjoy the crust.


I use sweet and hot chilli sauce which is not too hot. If using any other very hot chilli sauce, cut down the quantity of sauce. Start with half a tsp and add more after tasting, while you cook.
To make saucy or gravy chilli prawns
Use 2 tsps soya sauce, 2 to 3 tbsps chilli sauce, 2 tsps vinegar and 1/2 tsp pepper at step 9.
Add half tsp corn flour to 4 tbsps of water along with little salt. Mix very well to make it lump free. Pour this to the pan just before adding prawns, allow to bubble and thicken. Switch off when the sauce turns thick and then add the prawns.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.


NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Chilli prawns
Amount Per Serving
Calories 216 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Sodium 1950mg85%
Potassium 139mg4%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 17g19%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 1690IU34%
Vitamin C 51.2mg62%
Calcium 16mg2%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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chilli prawns

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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5 stars
Delicious but insanely spicy! I used Sambal Olaek for the chili sauce, half a jalepeno with the seeds and half a teaspoon of kashmiri chili powder and it was way too hot! It was delicious but too hot. Any suggestions reduce the heat but keep the flavor?

5 stars
Hello Swathi Garu,
I made this recipe and it came out very good. Thanks for sharing ?

4 stars
Nicely demonstrated.
Easy to follow

We made this today. Brined the prawn – it was a new learning. The whole dish turned out great . Thanks for the simple easy to follow recipe.

5 stars
Hi swasthi, very nice recipe! How do I make the marination batter stick(flour) to the prawn? It doesn’t stick to it and mostly fell off while frying 🙁 but the sauce came out great.

5 stars
Although I haven’t yet tried any of the recipes they all seem delicious and easy!!!! Will try the chilli prawns today Thsnks!

4 stars
Can I fry the shrimp and save it in the refrigerator for next day party?

I used the brining method and my prawns turned out extremely salty. I followed the recipe exactly as given.

5 stars
the recipe turned out perfect . Thank you .

5 stars
I am a great fan of yours.Whenever I plan a new dish I search for your recipie. Your recipies are really tasy and easy.

4 stars
Very good