Crispy Deep-Fried Prawns & Okra with Mango Salsa

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Preparation info

  • For

    Six

    Generous Starters
    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

The Sugar Club Cookbook

By Peter Gordon

Published 1997

  • About

This is a great mix of all the tastes and textures 1 love: sweet and tangy, savoury and salty, soft and crunchy. Deep-fried foods seem to appeal to us all and feature in cuisines the world over. The first time I saw okra growing was in a cousin’s garden in Conway, Arkansas, when my partner Michael and I were visiting en route to England in 1989. It is a member of the cotton family and one of the most beautiful plants I’ve seen. That night – as we feasted on okra fritters and chicken bake – we were set upon by an amazing tornado that wreaked havoc around the state. This must be why I associate okra with exciting things like chilli, spice – and storms!

Ingredients

  • 18 raw prawns
  • 12 finger-sized okra, unblemished
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying

Beer Batter

  • cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 450ml (¾ pint) beer

Mango Salsa

  • 1 large ripe mango
  • ½ cup finely sliced spring onions
  • ½ red chilli, seeds removed and finely diced
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • ½ cup finely sliced fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper

Method

Mix the dry ingredients for the batter together and then whisk in the beer, making sure there are no lumps. Let the batter rest for 20 minutes.

To make the salsa, peel the mango and cut the flesh from the stone in two halves. Dice the flesh and mix it with the remaining ingredients. Rest for at least 10 minutes before using.

Take the shells off the prawns but leave the tail end with its little flipper intact. This will make them easier to hold when you put them in the fryer and it’s also deliciously crunchy to eat. Remove the intestinal tract by running a small knife along the top of the prawns and pulling out anything that isn’t white flesh. Cut the okra in half lengthways, put with the prawns into the batter and toss well. In a deep-fryer, or deep pot, heat up some vegetable cooking oil until it is just smoking (180°C/350°F). Cook the okra by lowering them individually into the hot oil; once they’ve turned a golden brown remove from the oil and drain on absorbent paper. Keep in a warm place while you cook the prawns in the same way. Serve with the salsa on the side.