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How to make it: Georgia Freedman's crayfish with chillies and Sichuan peppercorns recipe

Recreate this boiled, brick-red crayfish fried in aromatic spices

By Georgia Freedman
Published 8 Apr 2019, 23:50 BST, Updated 15 Jul 2021, 14:56 BST
Crayfish and pork, stir fried with lotus seeds
Crayfish and pork, stir fried with lotus seeds

Enjoyed in many parts of China, usually in restaurants, customers set aside chopsticks and don thin plastic gloves before tearing apart the petite crustaceans to get the meat from their tails, heads and, sometimes, claws.

Serves: 3-4 Takes: 20 mins

7cm knob of unpeeled ginger
4 spring onions, 2 left whole, 2 cut into 3cm pieces
450g raw crayfish
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tsp thinly sliced peeled ginger
3 fresh Thai chillies, roughly chopped
2 tsp whole Sichuan peppercorns
1½ tsp dried chilli flakes
1½ tsp Sichuan peppercorn powder

1 Fill a large saucepan with water, add the knob of ginger and 2 whole spring onions, and bring to the boil over a high heat. Add the crayfish and bring it to the boil again, letting it bubble away for 3 mins. Remove from the heat, drain and allow the crayfish to cool.
2 In a wok, heat the oil over a high heat until very hot. Add the cooled crayfish, garlic and sliced ginger, then stir-fry, stirring and flipping constantly, for 30 secs. Add the chopped spring onions and Thai chillies, and continue to stir-fry for 1 min.
3 Reduce the heat to low, add the whole Sichuan peppercorns, dried chilli flakes and Sichuan peppercorn powder, and cook for 1 min, stirring and flipping until everything is well mixed. Immediately transfer the mixture to a platter and serve piping hot.

Read our interview with Georgia here.

As featured in Issue 3 of National Geographic Traveller Food.

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