Pan-fried Prawns in Sweet and Spicy Sauce


I have a collection of ketchup sachets in my kitchen. In the U.A.E. whenever you order or take-away food, you almost always get a few packets of tomato ketchup, even if you remind them not to add ketchup. And now I have a mountain of these sachets sitting in the kitchen. And I had to do something about them before they expire and go to waste. So I did some research online and came across this wonderful recipe.



You’ll need:

– 1kg black tiger prawns (or any type of fresh, whole prawns)
– 7 to 8 thin slices ginger
– 3 spring onions, chopped
– 1 onion (cut into wedges)
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 2 fresh, green chilies, chopped (since I like mine hot and spicy)
– Vegetable oil

For the Sauce:

– 3 tbsp ketchup
– 3 tbsp chilli sauce
– Β½ tsp sugar
– 1 tsp dark soya sauce*


  1. In a pan (ideally a wok, but I don’t have one), heat up enough oil to shallow-fry the prawns. Fry the prawns in batches until pink. Repeat until the whole batch finishes, set aside. I then removed the head (because I don’t like the way these prawn stare back at me).


  2. In another pan, pour over 1 tbsp spoon of oil. When hot, put in garlic, onion and ginger. Cook until soft. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce and add into the pan as well. Stir well.


  3. Add in cooked prawns, spring onions and fresh chili. Cook and stir for another 5 minutes. Serve hot with fluffy, steamed rice.

PS: The thick sauce is absolutely yummy on the rice!

Recipe inspired from Ju, author of The Little Teochew.


  1. Looks yummy. We too have a bunch of unused ketchup packets – so this looks like a good dish to try those on.

    I like how soya sauce can be used to cook anything! You try an Italian dish called “scampi” – absolutely smashing (my wife really makes good scampi) and it’s very quick to do.

    1. Oh, I don’t know what a scampi is, so I’m going to send a message to your wife on FB asking for the recipe. And yeah, soy sauce can be used to cook almost anything!

    1. Mezba, the prawns were already a light shade of orange when after I fried them, and then the color got darker after getting mixed with the sauce. So if the soy sauce is dark and your sauce is thick, you’ll get this orange shade.

      If not, increase the saturation a bit πŸ˜‰

  2. ok though i m not a prawn fan but i sure am nadia fan πŸ˜€
    hehe we too have so many sachets of ketchups from home deliveries ..used em all on my spaghetti this weekend :p

    by the picture of your recipe looks yum

  3. Mmm…looks easy to do.I will try it the moment I buy prawns πŸ™‚ Btw,the heads always comes off first for me though,even before frying πŸ™‚ My family has chilli madness so the ketchup bottle is sleeping.This recipe is very timely! Thank you! The other day my SIL gave me cream puff recipe as well.Looks like I’ve some experimenting to do this week πŸ™‚

    1. Lat, they say the prawns are tastier when you cook them with their heads on. I don’t mind the heads while they’re cooking, but I can’t serve the prawns with their heads intact.

      And you must share that cream puff recipe!

  4. hala, nadia, mukhang masarap! parang kaya ko ‘yang lutuin or pag minsan, am cooking something similar ‘ata… ganito kasi, we have a sister who’s a champion in the kitchen so whenever we want to taste good food, we just prod her to cook, haha… we take advantage of her abilities. sa bahay, pang-araw-araw na luto lang ang handa namin i.e., steamed, sinaing and fried, hihi…

    do you cook often? parang di ka naman yata mataba, e.

    btw, tag-ulan at tag-bagyo na dito…

    nasa bandang India pa rin kayo? πŸ™‚ ingat kayo lagi…

    1. Thank you, San. Yep, nasa India pa rin kami, siguro until July first week. Tag-ulan na rin dito, pero paunti-unti lang. Naks nama, you have a sister to cook for you! Nami-miss ko ang Pinoy cuisine, simple at masustansiya, kaso ayaw ni Masood – masyadong bland daw. Last month lang, nagluto ako ng ginisang ampalaya with egg and I forced him to eat, haha. Sabi niya OK naman, pwede daw if I cook it once a year πŸ˜€

      I’m on a cooking break here in India, pero ako ang nagluluto sa UAE. I cook mostly India/Pakistani food, but when I get time I try to cook other cuisine as well.

      Ingat din kayo diyan!

      1. hi, nadia.

        ah, that’s a long time to make pasyal and look around….

        our ate is married and lives in a different house. we just come over to her place whenever we want to taste good cooking, haha…

        masarap ang ampalaya with itlog. but yes, it’s an acquired taste. next time you force masood into eating another pinoy dish, i’d say you better accompany it with some threat of violence, lols!

        pakistani dishes are different pa from indian cooking? πŸ™‚ ang alam ko lang ‘ata ay ang pakistan ay dating bahagi ng india… omg, i better brush up on my Asian history. πŸ™‚

        salamat pala sa pagpasyal doon sa amin!

        1. Hi, San! Ampalaya with itlog is one of my favorite pinoy dishes. I also add Worcestershire and oyster sauce in it. One time I had some leftover chicken, which I shredded and added into the ampalaya. It turned out fantastic! Try mo minsan.

          Iniisip ko nga kung ano ang iluluto ko next, yung bang magugustuhan ng mga taste buds ni Masood. How about tortang talong? I’ll add green chilies.

          Hindi masyadong different ang India vs Pakistani food. After all, they have been a single country before 1947. It’s just that each region has its specialty cuisine, so to speak.

  5. salam sis!!

    remember me?? hw r u?? it has been long time didnt visit ur blog!! it awesome!! n that food is yummy!!! did u safe for me???? =(

    p/s: need ur email add to invite u bak to read my blog.. i lost ur email add.. =(

    1. Walaikum assalam, Sis! How could I ever forget you? How’d you been? I didn’t ‘disturb’ you online because I know how you’re busy with your studies and all. No, sorry; didn’t save prawns for you. But next time I will πŸ™‚

      My email is

    1. Yep, subukan mo, Mica. I’m sure you’ll love it. I saw your table spread by the beach in your latest post and I’m craving for all those seafood!

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