We have been eating Salt and Pepper prawns at The Blue Dragon at Northmead since 1988. Even though we moved from the area in 2000 we still make a point of doing lunch there whenever we are in the area. Bill once told me exactly how they were cooked and I remember thinking how simple the recipe was and didn’t write it down. I have been trying to recreate the recipe ever since. I think that this one comes pretty close.

Salt & pepper prawns – a la Blue Dragon

(sorry if this isn’t up to your standard Bill but I am still trying)


  • 1/2 kg large prawns shelled, with tail left on, deveined, rinsed and patted dry
  • corn flour to toss the prawns in
  • 3 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 spring onions, cut into diagonal 1 cm pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 chilli, thinly sliced, deseed if very hot
  • 1 tbs Szechuan pepper and salt mix – see below

Method 1

Rinse the prawns & dry with paper towels.  Toss the prawns in a small amount of cornflour shaking off all the loose flour.

In a deep fryer, fry the prawns for 1 minute and remove to drain on paper. Bring a wok to heat then add the oil, the chilli , garlic and spring onions, and while stirring add the prawns. Sprinkle on the salt and pepper mixture, and stir-fry for another minute. (TIME IT too long & they will be tough) Serve hot or at room temperature.

Method 2 – actifry

Not as crispy as the deep fried version but tasty and healthier. Rinse and pat dry the prawns, then toss in rice flour. Preheat the actifry then add the prawns and 1 tbs of the oil and cook for five minutes.  Remove to drain on paper towels while heating the garlic, chilli and spring onion mix in oil until sizzling. Add the prawns and sprinkle with the szechuan pepper mix. Cook for about 2 minutes and serve, scraping the garlic and chilli on the top.

Salt and Pepper Mix

This is a staple in our spice drawer so make a batch to use as a rub for any chicken or pork dish.

Equal quantities of szechuan peppercorns and rock salt.

Lightly toast the peppercorns then when cool grind in a mortar and pestle with the salt. Store for later use.

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