We love crab cakes. We thought there was nothing that could compare to these delectable little before-dinner morsels.
Enter prawn cakes.
Move aside crab cakes–you’ve been replaced! The dipping sauce in this recipe is to die for.
Makes 12 small prawn cakes.
12 stalks lemongrass
about 30 fresh or frozen raw spot prawns
1 egg white
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 green chillies, seeds removed, finely chopped
1 handful cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 heaped tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup panko crumbs, plus more for coating the cakes
For the dipping sauce:
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 heaped tsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp water
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
juice of 1 lime
1 Thai red chilli, thinly sliced
a few leaves of cilantro, finely sliced
Peel 18 prawns, chop finely in a food processor, being careful not to overprocess. Now beat the egg whites with a fork and combine with the prawn mince, add the remaining ingredients and fold them in to distribute evenly. Leave to stand in the fridge for an hour or more for the flavours to infuse.
Prepare the lemongrass stalks by removing the tough outer leaves, then trimming the bottoms while keeping the core that holds the leaves together intact. Now cut them in half, from the bottom up. Trim to desired length to fit your serving plate.
Prepare the dipping sauce. Combine the sugar, fish and soy sauces and cornstarch mixed with water in a pan, heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool a little before adding the garlic, chilli and lime juice. The cilantro leaves should be chopped and added at the last minute so they don’t wilt and lose their aroma.
When ready to serve, take a scant tablespoon full of mixture and form into a pattie. Coat with panko crumbs. Fry in hot grapeseed oil. Meanwhile, add remaining 12 spot prawns to boiling water and cook for 1-2 minutes, begin timing after the water returns to a boil.
Skewer the prawn cakes on to the lemongrass skewers. Add a fresh cooked prawn to the skewer. Brush with the dipping sauce.
Serve piping hot with the dip on the side.
You can also make these ahead of time. Chill in the frig until serving time, then skewer with the lemon grass and reheat quickly under the broiler or better still, on the barbecue. The aroma from the lemongrass is heavenly!