Crispy Prawn Cakes

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


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These are light and savoury treats. The key elements are egg white and a bit of minced pork fat, which give the cakes a mouthwatering flavour while imparting to them a surprisingly fluffy texture under their crusty coats.

These versatile cakes may serve as a separate course, as a snack, or as a delightful starter to any meal. The dipping sauce is the frosting on the cake, in a manner of speaking.


  • 450 g (1 lb) raw prawns
  • 110 g (4 oz) pork fat, finely chopped (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 75 g (3 oz) fresh breadcrumbs
  • Spicy Dipping Sauce (nam prik pla):
  • 400 ml (14 fl oz) groundnut (peanut) oil, for deep-frying


Peel the prawns and discard the shells. Using a small sharp knife, remove the fine digestive cord. Wash the prawns in cold water with 1 tablespoon of salt, then rinse well and pat dry with kitchen paper. Using a cleaver or sharp knife, chop the prawns coarsely and then mince finely into a paste. Put the paste into a bowl and mix in the pork fat, salt, pepper, egg white, sugar and breadcrumbs. Alternatively, you could do this in a food processor. This step can be done hours in advance, but you should then wrap the paste well in clingfilm and put it into the refrigerator until you need it.

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.

Using your hands, form the mixture into 4 cm ( in) balls – about the size of a golf ball. Continue until you have used up all the paste.

Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or large wok to a moderate heat. Deep-fry the prawn rounds, several at a time, for about 3 minutes, or until they are golden and puffed up. Drain on kitchen paper. Serve at once with the sauce.