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Szechuan Prawns Quick Spicy Stir Fry

Szechuan prawns a perfect quick stir fry that you can cook in well under 30 minutes, the “fizz” of Szechuan pepper is pure magic with shrimp.

A real Friday fakeaway but perfect for any night of the week that will save you a few pennies and make you feel like a real kitchen deity!

Szechuan prawns with green pepper served on steamed rice in a white bowl.

Spicy Szechuan Shrimp Stir Fry

Krumpli is littered with quick Friday Fakeaway dinners, odd really as I’ve never been a slave to the takeaway menu.

But I do love the flavours and knowing that you can cook them cheaper and quicker than your local takeaway is a revelation.

The stand-out flavour here is the characteristic ‘fizz’ of Szechuan peppercorns. Which are in fact not related to pepper at all, they are the husk of seed and they taste awesome.

I’ve said it before, but to me, they are like grown-up popping candy. It is one of my favourite spices, that tingle to me is magical.

This Szechuan prawns stir fry joins a Szechuan Chicken, salt and pepper prawns and Szechuan Beef Stir Fry here… So yeah, it’s safe to say that I am fond of these flavours!

But they are not just good for Szechuan stir fry dishes! I use them in recipes like my Chinese pork belly and Instant Pot Chinese spare ribs.

Overhead Szechuan prawns with green pepper served on steamed rice in a white bowl.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use frozen prawns?

Absolutely! Shrimp or prawns are a highly perishable product. As a result, they are more often than not frozen at sea to extend their shelf life.

If you forget to defrost your shrimp before cooking this easy shrimp stir fry you can speed up the process.

Put them in a colander and run cold, not hot, water over them. They will defrost and be ready to use in minutes.

What size prawns should I use?

As with many of my prawn recipes I go pretty big, these are size 16-20 prawns and I usually buy them head off and shell on.

Can I use pre blanched prawns?

Yes but they require even less cooking than the raw prawns that I use. You really do need to cook them for just a couple of minutes in total.

I find Szechuan pepper gritty, how can I stop that?

Szechuan pepper is the husk of a seed and not the seed itself, however quite often a few fragments find their way into the packet.

The best way to deal with it is to toast the Szechuan pepper because this makes the husk more brittle. Then crush and finally pass through a fine sieve, this should get rid of any errant bits of seed.

Close up Szechuan prawns with green pepper served on steamed rice in a white bowl.

Serving Suggestions

If you have been here before you will likely be unsurprised to see that I serve these Szechuan shrimp with simple white rice.

I love it as a side, it is the perfect blank canvas to build big flavours on. But, if you want something a bit more stand out then egg fried rice is an easy addition to add.

If you wanted more vegetables then I would add either stir fried broccoli or even stir fried asparagus when it is in season.

And let’s not forget noodles, my sweet and sour noodles or even these soy sauce noodles would be perfect.

Szechuan prawns stir fry with green pepper served on steamed rice in a white bowl.

Equipment Used

I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • Wok.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Chopping board.
  • Stirring and serving spoons.
  • Mixing bowl.
  • Colander if you need to defrost the prawns.
  • Weighing scales and measuring spoons.
Spicy Szechuan prawns with green pepper served on steamed rice in a white bowl.
Yield: 2 Servings

Spicy Szechuan Prawns Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes

You can not beat a quick shrimp stir fry as the king of fast food and these Spicy Szechuan Prawns certainly ticks that box, 15 minutes prep and 5-7 minutes cooking time!


  • 350g (12oz) Large Prawns
  • 1 Small Green Pepper (Around 175g whole)
  • 2 Spring Onions
  • Ginger (half of a thumb-sized piece)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Szechuan Peppercorns
  • 1 Tsp Chilli Flakes (More if you like)
  • 1 Tbsp Chinkiang Vinegar
  • 1 Tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tsp Shrimp Paste
  • 1 Tsp Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tsp Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Rice Wine
  • 2 Tbsp Water
  • 1 Tsp Cornflour (Cornstarch)
  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil


  1. Mix together the Chinkiang vinegar, sesame oil, shrimp paste, soy sauces, sugar, water, rice wine and cornstarch, then set aside.
  2. Peel then slice the garlic cloves as thinly as you can.
  3. Peel and cut the ginger into batons as finely as you can.
  4. Cut the white part of the spring onions into lengths around 1cm (½") long and slice the green parts as finely as you can (keep these separate).
  5. Deseed the green pepper and cut it into strips around 5-6mm (¼") thick.
  6. Heat a wok over a high heat and toast the Szechuan peppercorns for 30-60 seconds.
  7. Remove and grind, you may wish to pass this through a fine sieve to refine it further.
  8. Return the wok to a high heat when shimmering and add in the cooking oil.
  9. Throw in the garlic and ginger and stir fry for 30 seconds.
  10. Add in the green pepper, white parts of the spring onions chilli flakes and Szechuan pepper, then stir fry for 90 seconds.
  11. Add the prawns and store fry for 2-3 minutes.
  12. Pour over the sauce and cook for another 1 minute or so.
  13. Throw in the green parts of the spring onions, mix and serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 415Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 375mgSodium: 2610mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 43g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

sue | theviewfromgreatisland

Friday 2nd of February 2018

15 minutes? I'm all over this, and I just happen to have a delicious packet of Scechuan peppercorns in my cupboard!

Brian Jones

Sunday 4th of February 2018

They really are one of my favourite spices, that tingle is just magical, grown up popping candy if you ask me :D


Friday 2nd of February 2018

I want some right now

Brian Jones

Friday 2nd of February 2018

I reckon this delivery driver will be much slower than you can cook it :D

Lisa | Garlic + Zest

Friday 2nd of February 2018

To be clear, I'm always sipping a glass of wine while I cook... so I'll go with the 20 minute dinner... This looks so good!

Brian Jones

Friday 2nd of February 2018

So glad to hear it, unless you spend all day in the kitchen of course at which point in time you need to invest in a dialysis machine.


Friday 2nd of February 2018

Mmmmm, this one's getting pinned Mr Krumpli! It looks bleddy 'ansum as they say round these parts :D

Brian Jones

Friday 2nd of February 2018

Why thank you Mrs Combers :D


Friday 2nd of February 2018

This looks so delicious and easy! What a great meal to have on a busy weeknight!

Brian Jones

Friday 2nd of February 2018

Thanks Jenni.

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