Savoury Banana and Prawn Paste Fritters

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • makes

    16-18

    round fritters

Appears in

If you can buy ripe plantains from your local supermarket or ethnic food shop, then use these instead of ordinary yellow bananas. In this very new wave pairing, the spiced prawn paste (more or less that used on traditional prawn toasts) will give the fritters some warmth and bite, to cut the sweetness of the plantains (or bananas). I like to make these fritters quite small, just a mouthful each, but if you want them larger – say, two bites – then cut the banana / plantain obliquely into ovals instead of plain rounds.

Ingredients

  • 2 large ripe plantains or 4 slightly under-ripe bananas, sliced as above
  • groundnut or vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • Soy Sauce with Chillies, to serve (optional)

For the Prawn Paste

  • 225 g/ 8 oz raw shelled prawns, without heads, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped spring onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2–4 bird’s-eye chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 60 g/ 2 oz minced pork fat (optional)
  • 1 tsp chopped lemon grass (soft inner part only)
  • a large pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • white of 1 egg

For the Batter

  • 115 g/ 4 oz rice powder or plain flour
  • 115 ml/ 4 fl oz cold water
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil or clarified butter

Method

Make the prawn paste by putting all the ingredients into a blender and blending until smooth. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the batter by mixing the ingredients in another glass bowl.

Spread a heaped teaspoonful of prawn paste on top of a slice of plantain or banana, then put another slice on top of the filling to make a sandwich. Repeat this process until all the slices and filling are used up. (If you have a little paste left over, you can spread it on small slices of day-old bread, then fry these, without batter, to make prawn toast.)

Heat the oil in a wok or deep-fryer. When hot, dip the sandwiches in the batter and deep-fry them, 4 or 5 at a time, for 2-3 minutes. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and drain on layers of kitchen paper. Continue frying until all are done.

Serve hot or warm, as canapés with drinks. Dipping sauce is optional, but I recommend Soy Sauce with Chillies.