Stir-fried leeks with prawns: An easy recipe for good fortune

A mouth-watering dish of stir-fried leeks with prawns.

Who wouldn’t want an easy recipe for good fortune, right? While we can’t guarantee that making or eating this dish will add to your financial wealth, stir-fried leeks with prawns is a fine example of how a simple dish cooked quickly can be so full of flavour and goodness at the same time.

Stir-fried leeks (as well as other leeks-based dishes) are popular during the Chinese New Year period as “leeks” in Chinese sounds like the mandarin word for “to calculate”.

The Chinese community believes that eating leek during this and other auspicious festivals will bring you good wealth and lots of money to count in the coming year.


  • 140g (5) prawns
  • 100ml cooking oil
  • 360g leeks
  • 14g (1 tbsp) fish sauce
  • 14g (1 tbsp) Shao Xing (Chinese cooking) wine
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper


  • First, clean and devein prawns leaving the skin on. This adds significant flavour to your dish.
  • Next, remove the root end of your leeks.
  • Then, cut leeks on the bias (diagonally), about 1cm to 1.5cm thick.
  • Soak cut leeks in water to separate the pieces, then drain.
  • Add cooking oil and place wok on high heat for about 1 to 2 minutes. You want the wok and oil to get really, really hot.
  • Add prawns, salt and pepper and quickly stir fry until prawns are cooked, about 1 minute. Remove prawns and set aside.
Quickly stir fry prawns.
  • Immediately add leeks and stir fry for about 2 minutes, stirring continuously. You want the leeks to wilt and cook thoroughly.
Add leeks.
  • Add Shao Xing wine and cooked prawns once the leeks have reached a tenderness you like. Give it a quick stir to mix and turn off the heat.
Add Shao Xing wine and cooked prawns.
  • Serve immediately while still warm with the cooked prawns arranged nicely on top.

Extra tips

  • The fatter the leeks the better, but this recipe will work just as well with skinny leeks.
  • The secret is in the hot wok. It has to be hot. Really, really, really hot.
  • You can choose to use skinless prawns, but the skin really flavours the oil.
  • That single tablespoonful of Shao Xing wine adds a great depth of flavour to this dish. However, this dish will still be tasty if you opt to have it without.

That’s it! We told you stir-fried leeks with prawns is super simple to make. And it’s so good and easy there’s no reason for you not to have it regularly throughout the rest of the year as well.

Thank you Jennifer Kerfor for showing the Butterkicap Team how to make this delicious dish.

This article first appeared in

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