Auspicious Yummy Prawns or Har Har Tai Siew or Big Laughter


Good morning, dear friends :D

As promised last week, I will now provide the recipes for my Chinese New Year Family Reunion Dinner. I hope you will be able to try out some of these recipes and enjoy them as my family and I did. :wink:

It is auspicious to serve prawns during any Chinese festivals because in homonyms, the words prawn in Chinese is “har” and it sounds like “ha” as in “hahaha” in laughter – meaning there is happiness and joy. :lol:  So, here I am merely giving this dish my own name and you can actually give it your very own auspicious sounding name when you serve this to your family and friends.

This is a very easy recipe but it tastes absolutely delicious! :D

Har Har Tai Siew Prawns

Ingredients (serves 8 )

1 kg of large prawns

1 tsp each of salt, sugar and white pepper

1/2 cup of finely chopped garlic

1/2 cup of finely chopped shallots

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh young ginger (old ginger are too spicy for the kids)

4 tbsps oyster sauce

3 tbsps soy sauce

1/2 cup tomato ketchup

3 tbsps brown sugar (this dish is a bit sweet)

1/2 cup water

2 cups oil to pan fry the prawns

Coriander & Green Onion Leaves for garnishing

Method –

1) Use a pair of scissors to snip off the legs and sharp tips of the heads and tails of the prawns. At the back of the prawns, where there is a part between the head and the body, insert in the tips of the scissors and cut through the shell down towards about 1 inch from the tail. You want to be able to remove the dark “veins” in the back of the prawns through this slit.

2) Rinse prawns clean and then pat dry with paper kitchen towels.

3) Marinate the prawns with salt, sugar and pepper. Set aside for at least 20 minutes.

4) Heat up the oil in a pan or wok, and pan fry the prawns until they are almost (but not completely) cooked – you can tell this by observing how the prawns are curling up. They will not curl up completely (completely = very cooked). Pan fry prawns for about 2 minutes on the first side and 1 minute on the other side. Remove from wok and put in a serving platter.

5) Use about 1 cup of the oil leftover from frying the prawns, and fry the garlic, shallots and ginger until they are light golden in colour and aromatic.

6) Pour in the oyster sauce, soy sauce, tomato ketchup and sugar and give them a good stir for about 1 minute.

7) Pour in the water and simmer the sauce for another 2 minutes. By then the sauce is more concentrated.

8 ) Check for taste and add more soy sauce if needed.

9) Tip back the prawns and any juices left in the serving platter into the sauce. Give it another good stir for 2 minutes to finish cooking the prawns.

10) Serve hot and garnish with coriander leaves and green onion curls.

Enjoy :D

10 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    sweetrosie said,

    delicious recipe choesf :) Your menu was so nice.

    I hope you have recharged your batteries a bit and are enjoying the festivities again :)

    with love and happy wishes



  2. 2

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Thank you for your good coments, my dear sweetrosie. :D Hehe, I am still down with the flu bug and feeling a bit foggy-brained, but otherwise, I am fine and will be preparing quite a few things and food for prayers in our Hokkien Festival tonight – prayers to the Jade Emperor of Heaven…and there is a legend behind it. I will write about this later.

    Have a nice week ahead!

    With love and hugs,

    choesf :D


  3. 3

    Priscilla said,

    i enjoy your writings on your blog, gives me a sense of homeliness. i would like to ask for your permission to put 2 of festive recipes(Har Har Tai Siew and Treasure Soup) and the delicious photos on my company website,, currently it’s under “renovation”. will credit to you , and link back to your blog. Can?


    • 4

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hello there and welcome, dear Priscilla :D

      Thank you for your lovely comments. Yes, of course, you can put those 2 Chinese New Year festival dishes at your company’s website. Happy New Year and Gong Xi Fa Cai! :D

      With peace and joy,

      choesf :D


  4. 5

    Priscilla said,

    : )) thanks muacks, muacks with kisses. Gong Xi, Gong Xi to you and your family too.


  5. 6

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    You are very welcome, dear Priscilla! :lol:

    Hugs and kisses back,

    choesf :D


  6. 7

    Nic said,

    Hello Choesf! Happy New Year. Hope this year brings you all that you’ve wish for! :-)


    • 8

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Good morning, dear Nic! :D

      I wish you a Happy New Year, too, with lots of goodies for you and your family. Thus far, this year has turned out fantastic for us – my husband got another job offer (his third within a few months) and this one looks the best for him with more benefits.

      Can’t wait for the Chinese New Year to come…heheh, I am now busy decluttering my house and will post something on my Chinese New Year Preparations 2009 soon. :wink:

      Have a lovely weekend!

      With lots of hugs,

      choesf :D


  7. 9

    nic said,

    Hello again!
    Can I use raw frozen tiger prawns (deshelled)?


    • 10

      Hello again, dear nic :D

      Yes, you can use frozen and deshelled prawns as well…but you only pan fry them until half cooked, before cooking the rest of the ingredients and adding back the prawns to finish cooking. This will ensure that the prawns won’t be overcooked and they will stil be juicy! :wink:

      Have fun preparing for your little girl’s birthday party!

      With best wishes,

      choesf :D

      P.S. Over the last weekend, my family had a party whereby my husband’s staff and their partners/spouses and children came over for a potluck dinner. It was also a 2-year old girl’s birthday and I made a large platter of assorted cocktail sized chicken sausages – I caramelized some onions and then pour some barbeque sauce and tomato ketchup in together with a little water to make a sauce. Then cook the sausages in the sauce until they are done. Adjust the seasoning according to your taste. Hehe, even the adults were going for the sausages and of course, the tiny cocktail sausages appealed to the 15 kids! :lol:


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