Vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon ground Sichuan peppercorns, plus a few whole peppercorns
1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
6 head-on tiger prawns or large shrimp, deveined and butterflied, heads and shells reserved
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
A few cloves
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small leek, cleaned and thinly sliced
One 1-inch piece ginger, smashed or roughly chopped
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup Shaoxing wine (Chinese sherry)
1/4 cup shoyu (Japanese) soy sauce or tamari
1 egg, beaten
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias
1/2 head savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
A big handful of shiitake mushrooms, trimmed
4 ounces Asian noodles, cooked
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