Kung pou or kung pao sauce is a soy sauce based gravy which has a tinge of sourness to it. Pairing the kung pou sauce with deep fried mantis prawns, it is one of the more popular dishes In Chinese restaurants found in Singapore and Malaysia.
Cleaning mantis prawns begins with removing its shell. Peeling the shell off can be quite tricky as the meat is tender and the shell comes with sharp spines. The best way to clean mantis prawns is to use a pair of kitchen scissors. Cut sides of the body and then remove the bottom part of the shell. Proceed to cut the head off. Then, lay the mantis prawn on a board/plate to carefully remove the top shell and carefully pull the meat off the tail. The meat from the tail should slide off easily. Rinse the gut clean. Watch the whole process here.
Mantis prawns taste like a mixture of lobster and crab. The meat is tender and undeniably sweet.
They can be found at your local fish market, even in Europe. I bought mine fresh from Germany which is said to come from Italy. Mantis prawns are also found in Spain and used as an ingredient in paella. Otherwise, they may be also sold in the frozen section of the Asian grocer.
Of course. If regular prawns or squid are used, they are usually not deep fried. Just directly add it to the pan right after sautéing garlic, ginger and dried chillies. In fact, you can also use chicken, if that's what you prefer. Kung pou gravy is very versatile.
Mantis Prawns in Spicy Dark Soy Sauce is also known as: Kung Pou Mantis PrawnsKung Pao Shrimp宫保虾姑肉
Coat mantis prawns with corn flour and fry until golden brown.
Heat sesame oil in a wok. Once the oil is heated, add garlic, ginger and dried chillies. Sauté until fragrant. Add shallots along with soy sauce, vinegar, dark sauce and water. Optionally, add some 'Shaoxing' wine.
Add some salt, white pepper and sugar to taste. Allow gravy to simmer for about 2 minutes. Then, add scallions and cook until soft.
To thicken gravy, mix water and cornflour to add into boiling gravy. Turn off the stove. Coat fried mantis prawns with 'kung pou' gravy.