Bring the cheese to room temperature and divide into four equal pieces.
Reserve a few Thai basil leaves for garnish, then pound the rest into a rough paste using a mortar and pestle, or shred them.
One at a time, using your hands, form the goat’s cheese into a ball. Poke a finger into the centre and spoon, pipe or poke a quarter of the basil paste into the hole. Fold the cheese back over the hole and form back into a ball. Do the same with the remainder, then place the balls in the fridge to firm up for 10 minutes.
Place the palm sugar, sherry vinegar and
Roll the balls in the flour then coat in the beaten egg. Roll them in the breadcrumbs making sure you press the crumbs on firmly. Place back in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to again firm up.
In a pot large enough to hold them all in one layer, bring 5 cm of the vegetable oil to 180°C. Add the reserved Thai basil leaves and fry until they stop sizzling then remove with a slotted spoon onto kitchen paper. Lower the balls into the hot oil off the back of a slotted spoon and
Simply serve them on a plate with the dipping sauce in a small bowl and the almonds and deep-fried basil leaves scattered on top.
© 2010 Peter Gordon. All rights reserved.