Occasion / RECIPES

Make Your Own Prawn Paste

Hotpots are a wonderful traditional Chinese way of eating: friends and family gather around a bubbling pot of broth on a portable stove with plates of meat, seafood, and vegetables ready to be cooked in the soup. This is communal dining at its best, and the most memorable conversations are made over dunking fresh ingredients into hot, savory soup followed by dipping them into sauces.

Taking the world by storm is Haidilao Hot Pot, China’s most popular chain of restaurants with more than 100 outlets in 60 Chinese cities, as well as more in Los Angeles, Tokyo, Singapore, and Seoul. We decide to up our game in a hotpot and make their signature hot pot ingredients to help you up to your steamboat game.

My sister, she is easily addicted to a hobby or a kind of food. While Angela fell in love with “Hai Di Lao” Prawn Paste at first sight despite her mild allergy with prawns. She still fell in love with eating them and we have them whenever we are there.

Ways of Serving
You could serve the prawn paste in a piping bag like what they did in ‘Hai Di Lao’, where you will eat a small thick strip of prawn paste. Or you could put them in this bamboo holder, scooping them out using a spoon, allowing you to taste them like prawn ball.

Now you don’t need to head down ‘Hai Di Lao’ for this and you could enjoy them at your cozy home. Give this recipe a try and don’t forget to tag us on Instagram as @leplaincanvas and use the #byplaincanvas hashtag. We love seeing your takes on my recipes!

xoxo, Angela

Make Your Own Prawn Paste


  • 500 grams fresh prawns

  • 5 grams corn starch

  • Salt to taste

  • Crushed ice


  • Shell and devein the prawns and finely mince.
  • Add a pinch of salt and the corn starch.
  • Add the crushed ice and then knead the mixture until combined well.
  • Gather the mixture into a ball and pound the paste onto a cutting board repeatedly till you reach a springy consistency. Store in fridge till ready to cook.
  • To cook in the hotpot, use a spoon and scoop out small quenelles of prawn paste and drop into boiling soup. The prawn paste balls are ready to be eaten when they float to the surface, about 3 minutes.

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