Sea Cucumber with Prawns


Serves 6-8

  • 120g dried sea cucumbers (about 11-12 sea cucumbers)

For the seafood

  • 230g large prawns, peeled, deveined
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp roasted sesame oil
  • 365g fresh mussels, cleaned, debearded (18 mussels)

For the thickener

  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 2 tsp water

For the vegetables

  • 225g onion, diced into 3cm square sized pieces (about 1.5 small onions)
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp garlic (about 4 cloves), grated
  • 185g shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, quartered (about 10 mushrooms)
  • 160g red bell pepper, cut into 3cm square sized pieces (1 bell pepper)
  • 225g Chinese leaf (napa cabbage), trimmed, white parts only, (about 4-5 large leaves)
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp roasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp mirin
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp white sugar
  • 3 dried red chilies
  • 120mL hot water
  • 45g spring onions, sliced into 1cm pieces on a bias (about 2 long spring onions)


  • ½ tsp black and white sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp chives, sliced into 1cm pieces on a bias
  • Neutral oil for cooking


First, rehydrate and prepare the sea cucumbers:

Rinse the dried sea cucumbers in cold water. Place them in a container and fill with fresh spring bottled water until completely submerged cover and place in the fridge. Soak for 4-7 days, changing the water daily. Depending on the quality, you may have to soak longer. They should quadruple in size. Soak them long enough, until they are soft enough to cut open easily. Before cutting them open, scrub the outsides well with a brush under running water. Remove any whitish residue, if any. To cut open, place the sea cucumbers on a cutting board and cut in half horizontally and then lengthwise exposing the innards (I found that using scissors was the easiest/safest). Trims the ends off and discard. Rinse and clean the insides out, removing any sand and grit. Scrape away the intestines and the whitish lining (peels away in long strings). Next peel away the second thicker inner lining, which is a bit harder, but also peels away in one strip.

Place the cleaned sea cucumber in a sauce pot and cover with hot. Place over lowest heat setting, and allow to cook gently for 1 hour, do not boil. Change the water and repeat as necessary until the cucumbers are soft and pliable (3-4 hours). They should feel soft, but firm to touch. Do not overcook, otherwise they will become mushy.

Drain the cucumbers. Rinse well. Set aside.

Place the peeled prawns in a bowl and tip in oyster sauce and soy sauce, mix to coat and place in fridge to marinate for 30 minutes.

Make the thickener by whisking together the corn starch and water in a small bowl. Set aside. Re-whisk well before using later.

Drizzle a large non-stick skillet generously with oil and place over medium heat. Add the onion, ginger, and garlic. Sauté until slightly wilted and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the prawns and marinade and sauté until bright pink and cooked, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the prawns from the pan, place in a bowl and set aside in warm place. Add the mushrooms, bell peppers, and cabbage to the skillet. Sauté until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the sea cucumber, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, mirin, black pepper, sugar, dried chilies and 120mL of hot water. Cook stirring often about 2 minutes, cover with lid and lower the heat to a simmer. Allow to gently simmer for about 10-12 minutes. Remove lid and season with salt to taste, add more sugar if necessary, too. Tip in the re-whisked cornstarch and stir until thickened. Tip the prawns back in and stir to coat with the sauce. Stir in the spring onions. Place on a serving plate, garnish with sesame seeds and chopped chives if you like. Serve immediately.

Browse all recipes

Social media

@judyjoochef Instagram profile imageThrilled to be back on Good Morning America, this time celebrating the solar eclipse with some delights for kids!

From the galaxy-inspired Rice Krispies Treats to the Celestial Chocolate Moon Pies, it was a joy to share these space-themed treats. Cooking should always be an adventure!

A huge thanks to @goodmorningamerica for the opportunity to spread a little cosmic culinary magic.

For the recipe go to:

And, a big thank you to @toryburch for my galaxy inspired outfit! 

#JudyJoo #GoodMorningAmerica #SolarEclipse #KidsTreats #CulinaryMagic #SpaceyDesserts #CelestialTreats #FoodieFun #ExploreTheUniverse #CulinaryJourney #ChefLife #ChefsOfInstagram #FoodCulture #PassionForFood #ricekrispytreats #baking #abcnews #kidsrecipes4 days ago via Instagram
@judyjoochef Instagram profile imageHad a fabulous time @jonesroadbeauty at their flagship store in NYC @jonesroadbeautyflagship where I got a fabulous makeover for a completely fabulous no-makeup makeup look.  My make up artist @floby1 matched my colors perfectly and i walked out of the store feeling gorgeous!  I am in love with the tinted foundation cream and miracle balm— which I use on my lips and cheeks. So easy. I’m always in a rush so I like that everything can also be applied with your fingers and you don’t have to bother with brushes. 
Thank you Jones Road and @justbobbidotcom for having me!
#makeup #bobbibrown #jonesroadbeauty1 week ago via Instagram
@judyjoochef Instagram profile imageSolar eclipse of the heart! ❤️ from NYC… not totality, but still tres cool to see. 

#eclipse #newyork #solareclipse1 week ago via Instagram
@judyjoochef Instagram profile imageWhip up these Mung Bean Pancakes for a traditional savoury treat. I have so many memories eating these totally addictive pancakes in Gwangjang market in Seoul. 

Packed with flavours from finely chopped cabbage kimchi, spring onions, and red chilli, these pancakes are a classic in Korean cooking. I like to add some pork for extra savouriness, and it’s all held together with blended mung beans for a crispy yet soft texture.

The accompanying dipping sauce, a blend of soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and gochugaru, adds the perfect tangy and spicy kick to complement the pancakes.

Serve these pancakes hot with the special dipping sauce for a delicious fusion of flavours.

Check out the full recipe and add a Korean twist to your pancake game – link in bio!

#JudyJooKitchen #MungBeanPancake #KoreanFood #SavouryPancake #Kimchi #ChefLife #FoodBlog #InstaFood #FoodStagram #CookingAtHome #Homemade #RecipeOfTheDay #CulinaryJourney #FoodInspiration #Gourmet #AsianCuisine #Foodie #FoodLover #FoodPhotography3 weeks ago via Instagram