Cantonese Style Dry-fried Prawns ( Gon Jin Har Lok) Recipe:Cantonese Style Dry-fried Prawns ( Gon Jin Har Lok): An oldie but a goodie, this is one of the first few recipes posted on The Burning Kitchen! Cantonese-style Dry-fried king prawns ( Gon Jin Har Lok) lightly coated in a sweet zesty orange dark sauce. Yummy!
Dry-fried Prawns (Gon Jin Har Lok in Cantonese) in Dark Orange Sauce is a wonderful Cantonese recipe that I learnt from my mother, and I have been making this dish for my family every year as a Chinese New Year reunion dinner tradition. The slightly sweet and zesty orange sauce that the prawns are coated with is pleasing to the palate, that even children will be asking for more!
More Chinese New Year recipes:
- Bak Kwa (Chinese Barbecued Pork Jerky)
- 7 Reunion Dinner Dishes That Will Wow Your In-Laws This Chinese New Year
- Highly Addictive Homemade Pineapple Tarts (凤梨挞 ／ 黄梨挞)
- Chinese Braised Shiitake Mushrooms (Men Dong Gu)
See all Chinese New Year recipes here
The key to making great Har Lok lies in the choice of prawns and how fresh they are. For Har Lok, the best prawn to use is Ang Kar Hay (红脚虾 Hong Jiao Xia, literally translated as ‘Red-Legged Prawn’, because these prawns are larger than other prawns (like Glass Prawns, Tiger Prawns etc), while the flesh is very sweet and crunchy. Hope you enjoy this recipe!
Cantonese Style Dry-fried King Prawns (Gon Jin Har Lok)
Cantonese Style dry-fried king prawns ( Gon Jin Har Lok) lightly coated in a sweet zesty orange dark sauce - perfect for the Lunar New Year!
PREPARATION FOR CANTONESE STYLE DRY-FRIED PRAWNS (GON JIN HAR LOK) (30 minutes)"]
Use a pair of scissors, snip along the back of the prawn shell. Then use a knife to make a deeper cut to butterfly the prawn with its shell on. Then remove the debris from the prawns with a sharp knife or toothpick. (See video demonstration).
Wash the prawns and pat dry. Marinate with the 3/4 tsp of salt and leave to stand in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Cut the rind of the orange into thin strips.
- Squeeze the orange into a bowl and set aside
- Combine the oyster sauce, black soya sauce and sugar in a bowl
[recipe-directions title="COOKING METHOD FOR CANTONESE STYLE DRY-FRIED PRAWNS ( GON JIN HAR LOK ) (30 minutes)"]
Put the oil into the wok and turn heat to high. Add prawns in to deep fry until 70% cooked or till the shell turns slightly whitish in color. Deep fry the prawns in small batches otherwise all the heads will drop out.
- When all the prawns are fried, remove and put on a plate.
- Pour the oil from the wok leaving about 1 Tbsp.
Add half the orange rind and fry for few seconds. Add the sauce mixture and the orange juice and let it caramalises a little.
Put all the prawns into the wok and stir fry the prawns until they are well coated with the sauce. Be gentle when stir frying lest the prawn heads will drop off.
Continue to cook for about 2-3 mins until the sauce thickens and some burnt bits spotted on the shell of the prawns. Turn off the heat.
Transfer the prawns on a plate and garnish with the remaining orange rind, parsley and spring onion
- Serve while it's hot.
- Use Red Leg Prawns or 'Ang Kah Hay' in Hokkien for this dish as the texture of the prawn is very crunchy and firm, and the flesh is very sweet.
- Make sure the prawns are very very fresh - you need to lightly press the prawn body to ensure that it feels firm, and make sure that the prawn head and legs are not starting to detach from the body.
- Do not overcook the prawns otherwise they will be dried and hard. They should be very crunchy and bouncy if not overcooked.
- Be gentle when stirring the prawns otherwise the heads will drop off and it will not good for presentation.
Suggested Modifications for Special Diets
- Child-Friendly: Kids will love the zesty and mildly sweet orange sauce that is used to lightly coat the prawns.
- Egg-Free: No modifications needed.
- Fish-Free: No modifications needed.
- Gluten-Free: Ensure that the condiments (oyster sauce and soya sauce) are gluten free.
- Nut-Free: No modifications needed.