A Head Chef’s Homestyle Take on Taiwanese Cuisine


The prawn warm salad bowl is quite popular and often seen in proper Chinese restaurants. The dish is known for using ingredients with crispy texture, such as water chestnuts and deep-fried youtiao, but they are not always available in other countries. So, why not use asparagus and cashews? They have a similar texture and, more importantly, asparagus cannot be more “spring” for this season. Asian basil is added to enhance the flavor. If you are having a party at home, definitely try this flavorful and mouthwatering dish to kick off the night.  (Read more: 10 foods you need to try in Taipei)


Serves 3~4 people
6 asparagus
10 deshelled prawns
1 cup of cashews
1/2 egg white
1/2 tsp white pepper powder
1 tsp tapioca flour
4 pieces lettuce
1/2 diced onion
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1 minced scallion
3 minced garlic cloves
2 tbsp roughly chopped basil
Dash of salt


▼Step 1

Prepare all the vegetables first. Crush cashews, dice the asparagus, scallions, onion, garlic, and ginger, and set aside.

▼Step 2 

Rinse lettuce thoroughly and cut the head from top to bottom in half, making the lettuce into a bowl-shape.
(Tip: Soak them in a bowl of ice water for 1 minute to make the texture crispy. Drain and set aside afterward.)

▼Step 3 

Dry the prawns with paper towel. Cut into small pieces and marinate with the egg white, white pepper, salt and tapioca flour. Set aside for 10 minutes.

▼Step 4 

Heat the oil in your pan, then stir-fry the prawns until they are 80% cooked.
(Tip: Do not stir fry until it’s well-done. Take the prawns out of the pan and set aside. Leave that 20% to cook later.)

▼Step 5

Re-heat the pan and use the remaining oil from the previous step to stir-fry the diced onions until browned and softened. Then add garlic and ginger into the pan to stir-fry too.
(Tip: to avoid burning the pan, add some water when stir-frying the onions.)

▼Step 6

Add all the diced asparagus along with the almost-cooked prawns and fry on high heat for another minute.
(Tip: Time control is very important here. The prawns should be cooked very soon as they have already been stir-fried. Asparagus should not be over-cooked as you’ll want to keep the crispy texture.)

▼Step 7 

Turn the heat off and sprinkle some cashews, scallions, white pepper, basil and salt. Taste it to make sure it’s well seasoned.

▼Step 8

Serve them in the lettuce bowl. Enjoy!

This article is reproduced under the permission of TAIPEI. Original content can be found at the website of Taipei Travel Net (www.travel.taipei/en).