Tag Archives: Dry

Har Lok Cantonese Dry Fry Prawns Recipe

Both sets of my grandparents are Cantonese, so I grow up eating plenty of Chinese Cantonese dishes. For special occasions, we always have at least one seafood dish, and one of the most requested dish is this Cantonese dry fry prawns, a.k.a. Har Lok (干煎虾碌). This is such a quick and easy prawns dish to prepare, and the sweet and sour sauce is always a hit.

Ingredients to prepare har lok (Cantonese dry fry prawns).

Sweet and sour sauce for har lok (Cantonese dry fry prawns)

The sweet and sour sauce is very simple and using staple pantry sauces. You will need:

Har lok (Cantonese dry fry prawns).

Har lok (Cantonese dry fry prawns).

Choosing the correct prawns size to use

Depending on the occasions, you can use either jumbo size prawns, or medium size prawns for this dish:

  • For really special occasions, like Chinese New Year, it is best to use the biggest size prawns you can get. My Mom always get jumbo size prawns for Chinese New Year, which is about 15-25 prawns per kilogram.
  • For everyday occasions, it is okay to use medium size prawns (which is what I use in the photos), and it should be about 40-50 prawns per kilogram.
Har lok (Cantonese dry fry prawns).

Har lok (Cantonese dry fry prawns).

How to cook prawns so they stay crunchy

The biggest sin one can commit when preparing prawns/shrimps is overcooking. Anytime you cook prawns/shrimps, it is always best to undercook rather than overcook. Perfectly cooked prawns/shrimps will have crunchy texture, while overcooked ones will have chewy leathery texture, which is a big no no.

To prepare the perfect har lok, here are my tips:

  • When you fry the prawns in oil, be extra sure that the moment you see them turn orange, you should immediately remove from heat and transfer them to a plate.
  • When you return the fried shrimps to the pan to mix with the sauce, be sure to do this quickly. You should only need at most 30 seconds to toss the shrimps with the sauce. If for any reason you need more time than this, it is better to turn off the heat once the sauce boils, remove the pan/wok from heat source, then add the fried shrimps and toss.

I hope my recipe will lead you to perfectly crispy and crunchy prawns with delicious sweet and sour sauce.

Har lok (Cantonese dry fry prawns).

Har lok (Cantonese dry fry prawns).

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Dry Hayashi Beef Rice Bowl Recipe

Japanese dry hayashi beef rice bowl, with poached egg, and fried onions.

Rice bowl is one of the main staples of quick and cheap Japanese lunches, basically the stuff that fuels most Japanese salaryman 😉

One of my favorite rice bowls is the hayashi beef rice bowl. At a glance, hayashi beef rice looks like curry rice, but hayashi rice is sweet and fruity while curry rice tends to be spicier.

Ingredients for Japanese dry hayashi beef rice bowl: ground beef, carrot, onion, garlic, tomato ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, sake, and cornstarch.

Ingredients for Japanese dry hayashi beef rice bowl: ground beef, carrot, onion, garlic, tomato ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, sake, and cornstarch.

Hayashi beef: dry vs. wet (original)

A typical hayashi beef dish is wetter instead of dry. It also uses red wine instead of sake. For the dry version, you can get away with sake, and that’s what I use for this recipe.

Ingredients for dry hayashi beef

We will need ground beef, carrot, onion, garlic, tomato ketchup, Worcestershire sauce (or tonkatsu sauce), sake, beef stock, and cornstarch.

How to cook dry hayashi beef

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet/frying pan. Sauté diced carrot and diced onion (reserve the sliced onion for later) until the onion is translucent.

Add ground beef, garlic, corn starch, and 1/2 cup of beef stock to the skillet/pan. Stir to break the ground beef. Cook it for 3 minutes.

Pour the rest of the beef stock, along with tomato ketchup, Worcestershire sauce (or tonkatsu sauce), and sake. Cook until the liquid is almost dry. About 15 minutes.

(1) Sauté onion and carrot until onion is translucent. (2) Add ground beef, garlic, cornstarch, and part of the beef stock. Stir to break up the ground beef and cook until no longer pink. (3) Add the remaining beef stock, tomato ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and sake. Cook until the liquid is almost dry.

(1) Sauté onion and carrot until onion is translucent. (2) Add ground beef, garlic, cornstarch, and part of the beef stock. Stir to break up the ground beef and cook until no longer pink. (3) Add the remaining beef stock, tomato ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and sake. Cook until the liquid is almost dry.

Rice, Poached Egg, and Crispy Onions

Since this is a rice bowl, the ground beef in itself is just one part of the equation. To make a rice bowl, you will also need:

  • steamed white rice
  • poached eggs
  • crispy onions

For the eggs, you can prepare poached eggs, onsen tamago (soft-boiled eggs), or mash hard-boiled eggs and season with salt and pepper.

To make crispy onions, heat 1/2″ of oil in a small frying pan/pot. Once the oil is hot, fry the thinly sliced onions until golden brown and crispy. Remove fried onion with a slotted spoon and place on a kitchen paper towel to remove excess oil.

If you are not in the mood to fry onions, you can cut nori into thin strips, but crispy onions are superior in my opinion.

To serve, pour dry hayashi beef over a bowl of steamed rice, then top with poached egg, and sprinkle with fried onions.

To serve, pour dry hayashi beef over a bowl of steamed rice, then top with poached egg, and sprinkle with fried onions.

Other Japanese rice bowl recipes

If you love this hayashi beef rice bowl, you may want to try my recipes for other Japanese rice bowls too. They are all equally delicious, quick, and easy to prepare:

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