Ketchup Prawns

First posted in 2008. Updated with improved recipe in Dec 2018.

This ketchup prawns (番茄蝦) is my family’s trusted and loved recipe for decades. The prawns (shrimps) are cooked in a home-made ketchup sauce that is sweet, mildly hot and tangy at the same time. We often eat an extra serving of rice just to clean out the delicious gravy.

See Also:
Chinese Tomato Sauce Recipe

Ketchup Prawns Recipe

Ketchup Prawns Recipe
This dish looks fab straight from the pan. If you love this dish, also check out my mum’s Chinese tomato sauce, which is a great accompaniment to Chinese pork chops.

Ketchup Prawns Recipe

The ketchup sauce is sweet, hot and tangy and soooo good over steamed rice. This recipe uses 10 extra-large prawns (about 180g after prep). You can also use 15 (+/-) smaller prawns accordingly.


  • 10 XL prawns deshelled & deveined, tail-on & patted dry (180g after prep)
  • 1/2 + 1/2 tbsp cooking oil divided
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 onion sliced thinly
  • 2 chilli padi sliced thinly; to taste
  • 1 small tomato cut to 6 wedges

(A) Sauce

  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) water
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp chilli garlic sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar to taste
  • 1 tsp soy sauce to taste


  1. Pre-cook the prawns. Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a wokpan. Add prawns and cook until they just turn opaque. Set aside on a plate.
  2. Cook aromatics. Add remaining oil to the pan. Cook garlic and onion, until the onions turn translucent. Add tomatoes and chilli, cooking down the tomatoes briefly until softened.
  3. Make ketchup sauce. Add sauce ingredients (A) to the wok. Bring to a simmer and season to taste (more soy sauce, sugar or water if needed).
  4. Simmer and serve. Return prawns back to the pan, evenly coating them in the sauce. Cover with lid and simmer for 1 more minute, or until the prawns are cooked.