Cantonese Ginger Scallion BC Spot Prawns (Chinese Wild Prawn Recipe)

Cantonese ginger scallion BC spot prawns have definitely become a highlight dish for me since we’ve started prawning for wild local BC spot prawns on the Sunshine Coast.

With Cantonese ginger scallion prawns, ginger is cooked with scallions and garlic. Lightly battered BC spot prawns are tossed into the fragrant oil. Throw in last minute aromatics, sauces, and spices — Chinese cooking wine, soy sauce, Chinese white pepper, sesame oil. Serve wild prawns piled high and steaming hot. Delicious.

All of these prominent flavors in the dish are classically Chinese, specifically Cantonese. This ginger scallion aromatic foundation can be seen throughout Cantonese cuisine, though I associate it strongly with messily eating ginger scallion crab at restaurants with my family.

There are many different reasons why I get all nostalgic about this pile of prawns. Mostly, I’m just a sentimental sap with Chinese ancestry.

(I’m going to get a little personal, so if you just want to get the recipe, feel free to click the link at the top to go straight there.)

As a member of a large Cantonese family in Vancouver, I was lucky enough to attend a Chinese banquet or two every year growing up.

Whether it was to attend an association or family society dinner, a community celebration, or an extended family wedding, there always seemed to be an occasion to feast around a round table in a massive restaurant with a few hundred of my relatives and strangers.

Chinese banquets are a truly unique experience, too. My family association’s annual banquet even has a singing Elvis impersonator (he’s related to me and he’s excellent, by the way).

The tastiest part of these Chinese banquets was always the Cantonese ginger scallion seafood dish (usually Dungeness crab). The fresh seafood was fried with a light batter, and then quickly tossed in a salty, succulent, lick-your-fingers sauce.

It’s funny — even writing about Cantonese ginger scallion sauce is making me feel nostalgic and sappy right now.

I guess all that I’m trying to say is that this Cantonese ginger scallion BC spot prawn recipe is very authentic tasting….

Maybe you can even play a little Elvis when you cook in homage to my nostalgia!

Cooking Cantonese Ginger Scallion BC Spot Prawns

Start with good quality, fresh, and local prawns with the heads and shells still on, if possible. I used wild BC spot prawns caught the same day from the Sunshine Coast, BC. We rinsed them off, and then removed their heads to make processing them easier.

Cantonese Ginger Scallion BC Spot Prawns | The Homesteading Huntress

Prepare your raw ingredients first, as the actual cooking process is very fast. Generally speaking, it’s best to have everything ready before you start cooking any quick frying recipes in Cantonese and Chinese cooking.

Toss the cleaned BC spot prawns in corn starch until they are lightly coated.

Corn starch is a classic dredge for frying in Chinese and Cantonese cuisine. Corn starch leaves a lighter and crispier texture in comparison to flour, breadcrumbs, or a wet batter.

Heat high smoke point vegetable oil (such as canola or grapeseed) in a heavy bottomed skillet over high heat until the oil is hot and shimmering. Carefully place the wild prawns into the pan and fry until golden brown. Flip, and then cook until they are fully cooked on both sides. Remove from pan and rest on clean paper towel while you prepare the ginger scallion sauce.

Clean the pan and heat vegetable oil over medium-high to high heat until the oil is very hot. Cook ginger until it is fully cooked and very fragrant.

Mix in the white sections of the scallions and mix quickly until fragrant. Be careful not to burn the ginger and scallions!

Make sure the heat is high, and then toss in the fried wild prawns, Chinese cooking wine, garlic, green sections of scallions, soy sauce, and white pepper. Mix quickly until excess liquid is evaporated. Toss in sesame oil and serve hot.

Enjoy your steaming, succulent, aromatic plate of wild BC spot prawns cooked in a Cantonese ginger scallion sauce!

More Wild BC Spot Prawn Content

Wild Prawn Stock (BC Spot Prawn Heads and Shells Stock)

Wild BC Spot Prawn Fishing in April

Cantonese Ginger Scallion BC Spot Prawns (Chinese Wild Prawn Recipe)

Cantonese Ginger Scallion BC Spot Prawns (Chinese Wild Prawn Recipe)

This Cantonese ginger scallion BC spot prawn recipe is an authentically Chinese and Cantonese take on cooking wild spot prawns, a local favorite and wild food available in BC, Canada. 

Course Main Course, Seafood
Cuisine Asian, Cantonese, Chinese, Pacific Northwest
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author The Homesteading Huntress

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds BC spot prawns (approximately 20 prawns)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 5 tbsp high smoke point vegetable oil separated into 2 tbsp and 3 tbsp
  • 2 inches ginger root peeled and cut into 1/4" slices
  • 8 whole scallions or green onions cut into 1" pieces, white roots cut in half lengthwise
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp white pepper

Instructions

  1. Clean and dry BC spot prawns, and then lightly toss with cornstarch.

  2. Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil on a heavy bottomed skillet on medium-high to high heat until the oil is very hot.

  3. Lay the wild prawns carefully on the pan and pan fry until golden brown on one side (around 2 minutes). Turn each prawn and cook until the prawns are fully cooked and golden brown on both sides (around 1 minute). Remove prawns and set aside on a clean paper towel, and then clean the pan. 

  4. Heat remaining vegetable oil on medium-high to high heat until the oil is shimmering. Cook ginger until cooked through (around 1 minute), and then add the white parts of the scallions and stir quickly until aromatic (around 30 seconds).

  5. Add BC spot prawns into the pan with garlic, Chinese cooking wine, green scallion parts,  soy sauce, and white pepper. Ensure the heat is on high, and then stir quickly to evaporate excess liquid and steam prawns with Chinese aromatics. 

  6. Finish with sesame oil and serve immediately. 

Recipe Notes

While this Cantonese ginger scallion BC spot prawn recipe specifically uses wild BC spot prawns, you can substitute any high quality prawns. Use prawns in the shell for a tastier and more authentic, albeit slightly harder, Chinese dining experience. 

Posted by Arielle

Arielle is a passionate urban homesteader and hunter located in Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia.

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