Prawns and Green Beans in Black Bean and Garlic Sauce

, from Issue #30. September, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Prawns and Green Beans in Black Bean and Garlic Sauce

Serves: 4


300 grams raw, peeled prawns
6 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 cup boiling water

1 tablespoon cornflour
2 tablespoons Chinese Shaoxing cooking wine
2 tablespoons black bean and garlic sauce
3 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce

To cook
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
pinch of chilli flakes
250 grams round green beans, thinly sliced on the diagonal
½ cup roughly chopped roasted cashew nuts
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons lime juice


Soak the mushrooms in boiling water for 15 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking water and thinly slice.

Sauce: Combine the cornflour and Shaoxing wine in a bowl to make a smooth paste. Add the reserved mushroom soaking water, the black bean and sweet chilli sauces. Set aside.

To cook: Heat the sesame oil in a hot wok and stir fry the garlic, chilli flakes, green beans, cashew nuts and the mushrooms until the beans are bright green. To avoid the garlic catching, add a splash of Shaoxing or water if necessary.

Add the prawns and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the sauce and stir fry until the prawns are just cooked, the sauce has thickened slightly and the cornflour has been cooked out. Add the sesame seeds and lime juice and serve immediately.

Shaoxing rice wine: derived from glutinous rice, China’s most famous rice wine has a soft rich flavour and is enjoyed like a fine sherry, although wine specified for cooking (as used here) is rather harsh in comparison. The flavour enriches braised dishes and marinades. Available from Asian food stores.