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Steamed Garlic Prawns with Vermicelli Noodles (Video)

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Have you tried this traditional Chinese dish, steamed garlic prawns with vermicelli noodles? You’ll easily found at many Chinese restaurants. It’s very easy and quick to make at home though.

I was so happy to spot some beautiful tiger prawns at nearby supermarket. Immediately this dish came up in my mind. I have been craving for steamed prawns for a while. Last time I tried my mother-in-law’s recipe to steam prawns with fermented beancurd. Yes, this dish is so different.

Steamed Garlic Prawns with Vermicelli Noodles02

All the delicious juice from the steamed prawns with the sauce are absorbed by the vermicelli noodles. My family liked the noodles as much as the steamed prawns.

Both cooking method and ingredients used are very simple. I kept using my mother-in-law’s trick of steaming with half cooked garlic and half raw garlic. The cooked garlic will become sweeter and aromatic after briefly cooked in oil. The oil in turn becomes so garlicky fragrant that will make the prawns and vermicelli noodles (glass noodles) taste much better.

Steamed Garlic Prawns with Vermicelli Noodles Procedures01

To prepare the vermicelli noodles, if you soak in room-temperature water, you’ll find it takes quite a long time. If it’s not long enough, the texture is still tough even after steaming.

To get around this problem, it’s better to use warm water to soak vermicelli noodles instead. Not only does it help shorten the soaking time, but also it makes the noodles smoother and tender. It's about 5 to 10 minutes. There you go.

Steamed Garlic Prawns with Vermicelli Noodles Procedures02

Place the noodles at the bottom with prawns on top. Steam for a few minutes until prawns turn opaque. Enjoy!

Steamed Garlic Prawns with Vermicelli Noodles Recipe

(Printable recipe)

Course: steamed, Seafood
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep time:
Cook time:
Yield: 2 to 3 serves

Steamed Garlic Prawns with Vermicelli Noodles03

  • 8 (about 235 gm) prawns / shrimps
  • 50 gm vermicelli noodles
  • 4 to 5 cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 2 spring onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp chicken stock (or water)
  • 1 Tsp sugar

  1. Soak vermicelli noodles in warm water for about 10 minutes until softened. Use a pair of scissors to cut into 2 to 3 sections. Drain out. Set aside.
  2. Rinse prawns and pat dry with kitchen towels. Use a pair of scissors to trim off the rostrum and legs. Cut the shells along its back. Then use a knife to make an incision by cutting the flesh about three-quarters of the way into prawn flesh, from the head to nearly all the way down to the tail. Remove the vein. Open the flesh and slightly press to flatten. Set aside.
  3. Put all the sauce ingredients into a saucepan. Cook until sugar is dissolved.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan. Saute half of the garlic, leaving another half behind. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Remove from heat.
  5. Place vermicelli noodles on a plate with prawns on top in one layer. Evenly put all the minced garlic, including cooked and uncooked on the prawns. Steam in a wok or steamer for 10 to 12 minutes, until the prawns turn to be opaque. Don’t overcook though. Sprinkle diced spring onion. Drizzle the sauce. Serve immediately.

  • The vermicelli noodles will be softened and much easier to cut into sections.
  • If chicken stock is not handy, you can use water instead. Or you might like to add ¼ tsp of chicken bouillon powder and mix with the water to enhance the flavours if you like.
  • The steaming time depends on the size of your prawns. Please adjust accordingly.


  1. I miss those steamed garlic prawns! Used to have them very often...the vermicelli soaked up all the free run sauce..also very yummy too.

  2. This is likely a stupid question but do the prawns have to be raw then steamed or can I use cooked prawns?

  3. Hi GregA,
    If you steam cooked prawns, they will be overcooked and turned rubbery in texture.