So following on from my ravings about Thailand last week, it’s time to actually post a Thai-inspired recipe. Yes, this does mean I’m finally back on track and have some new recipes for you!
We discovered these prawn cakes on the menu at a place we stayed called Koh Jum on an island just south of Krabi. Delicious little appetisers comprising minced prawn, red curry paste, green beans and kaffir lime leaves, coated in breadcrumbs, fried until golden and crispy, ready to be dipped into sweet chilli sauce.
They were probably the Perky Kebab’s favourite thing he ate all holiday – that and his new-found love of mee sa pam for breakfast (that’s noodles with prawns for the uninitiated!). As a result I haven’t stopped hearing about them since we returned and finally decided it was just easier to try to make some. Anything for a quiet life…
The main problem was that I didn’t have a recipe for them. But after some internet research, a bit of testing, trial and error (I have never been so popular with the Perky Kebab who was top taster in this process!), the result is the recipe below. I’m afraid I photographed the testing process, which explains the varying colours of cakes in the photos above!
They are seriously delicious and also really easy to prepare and take only a couple of minutes to fry per side. Definitely one to have a go at to create some of your own tasty Thai food at home.
Thai Prawn Cakes (Tod Mun Goong)
Makes 12 cakes
300g raw, peeled king prawns
2 tablespoons red curry paste
3 fresh kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded (fresh are ideal but just use dried ones soaked in boiling water for a minute or so if you can’t get any)
A handful (about 30g) of green beans, sliced very finely
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
50g breadcrumbs (Panko are ideal)
100ml sunflower or vegetable oil
Sweet chilli dipping sauce and cucumber to serve
1. Blitz the prawns in a food processor – you don’t want a prawn puree though so don’t blitz for too long! Alternatively chop finely with a knife.
2. In a bowl, combine the prawns with the curry paste, kaffir lime leaves, green beans, sugar and fish sauce. Mix well. Divide the mixture into 12 balls and form each one into a flat-ish patty.
3. Place the breadcrumbs on a plate and coat each prawn cake in breadcrumbs.
4. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a high heat. It will take about 2 or 3 minutes to heat up, depending how deep the oil is. Test to see if it’s hot enough by putting a bit of breadcrumb into the pan – it should bubble and sizzle and go brown in a few seconds.
5. Once the oil’s hot enough, fry the prawn cakes in batches – about 4 per go (too many and your oil will become too cool to fry properly), 2 minutes per side until they’re golden and crisp. Place in a warm oven on some kitchen roll to soak up any excess oil until the full batch is ready. Serve immediately with sweet chilli dipping sauce and some slices of cucumber.
You can make the prawn cakes up to stage 2 in advance and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them. Only coat them in breadcrumbs when you’re ready to go though as they might get soggy otherwise.