Recipe: Drunken Herbal Prawns (药材醉虾)

As usual I am always curious about the origin of the dish that I am sharing and as I googled for the origin of the Drunken Prawns dish, I could find no specific answer except from which mentioned that drunken prawns (simplified Chinese: 醉虾; traditional Chinese: 醉蝦; pinyin: zuì xiā) is a Singaporean dish, made of fresh prawns cooked with Chinese wine.

Traditionally, in this dish, live prawns are placed in a clay pot and are drowned in strong liquor. Then the clay pot is covered to ensure that they are totally “drunk”. You can hear them kicking and jumping in the clay pot till they are dead. Sounds cruel but this is to retain the freshness and sweetness of the prawns. This is something which I will not be able to lay my hands on.

For this dish, I have included herbs to enhance the taste of the broth which is an extra bonus as this tonic is good for health. Only a few ingredients are being used, it is therefore important to ensure that ingredients used are the freshest possible and the prawns of good quality. Now you can make it at the comfort of your home and enjoy this dish without paying a premium in the restaurants. Let’s have some laughter over this season again! Hahaha! J

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12 large frozen or fresh good quality prawns

Marinade for the prawns:

150ml Brandy/Chinese Wine

1/2 tablespoon Salt


2 slices of Dang Gui (Chinese Angelica)

5 slices of Yuzhu (Solomon’s Seal)

8 Red dates (Deseeded)

3 cups chicken stock (Preferably homemade)

1 tablespoon Wolfberries

A few strands of ginseng roots


Spring onions (Julienned)

Sauce for dipping: (optional)

2 red Chillies (Remove seeds & cut.)

2 tablespoons Sesame oil

2 tablespoons dark Soya sauce

2 teaspoons light Soya sauce


  1. Trim away the whiskers and legs of the prawn. (Refer to my recipe on how to @
  2. Rinse prawns and put them into a dish.
  3. Season the prawns with some salt.
  4. Pour in the brandy/Chinese wine and cover for a couple of hours. (As long as you can.)
  5. 30 or 40 minutes before you want to cook your prawns, put the chicken stock into a pot.
  6. Rinse all the herbs except the Wolfberries.
  7. Put in all the rinsed herbs into the pot of chicken stock and bring it to boil.
  8. Turn down to low heat to simmer for at least 30 minutes.
  9. While the broth is simmering, rinse the Wolfberries and set aside.
  10. When your broth is ready, add in the marinade from the prawns. (You can pour half or all of the marinade depending on how strong you want the taste of the liquor.)
  11. Then put in the prawns to simmer till they turn opaque, turn off the fire.
  12. At this juncture you may add in some salt to taste.
  13. Dish out the prawns with the broth.
  14. Add in the Wolfberries.
  15. Garnish with the spring onions.
  16. Goes well with some steamy white rice and the dipping sauce will enhance the taste of the prawns.

Enjoy!!! Easy and no oily kitchen. 🙂

Mummy's Kitchen

Hi! My name is Josephine Go. I blog at in a segment called Mummy’s Kitchen. I love to use fresh and natural ingredients in my cooking to promote healthy eating. Some of my recipes may not be in line with the traditional methods of cooking to the extent that some of the ingredients are different, but hopefully new recipes are being created in my style. I certainly hope that what I do will help guide kitchen first-timers on how to cook their first meal as well as further equip kitchen veterans with new recipes. My loving husband and two wonderful children are my best guinea pigs and critics. They have enjoyed (or endured) the food that has been served to them for all these years. Mind you, I did not know how to cook or ever knew that I could cook till I got married. So there is hope for everyone. If I can cook, you can cook. You will not know how good or talented you are until you put your hand in the plough.

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