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    Crispy coconut prawns with chilli dipping sauce

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    Crispy coconut prawns with chilli dipping sauce

    By John Chantarasak

    • Preparation time: 35 minutes
    • Cooking time: 10 minutes
    • Total time: 45 minutes 45 minutes

    Serves: 4 as part of a sharing meal


    500g raw No.1 Madagascan whole tiger prawns (available at the fish service counter)
    1 tbsp fine salt
    50g panko breadcrumbs
    25g desiccated coconut
    1 tbsp finely chopped coriander
    1 tbsp finely chopped
    flat leaf parsley
    2 tbsp plain flour
    1 egg, beaten
    vegetable oil, for shallow frying

    Dipping sauce
    ½ tbsp Lee Kum Kee chilli garlic sauce (or sriracha)
    1½ tbsp tomato purée (or ketchup)   
    1½ tbsp caster sugar
    1½ tbsp cider vinegar
    ½ tsp fine salt
    ¼ tsp ground white pepper
    ½ tsp cornflour


    1. For the dipping sauce, put 75ml water in a saucepan and stir in all the sauce ingredients except the cornflour. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Mix the cornflour with 1 tsp water to create a paste, then stir it into the mixture and bubble for 1-2 minutes until thickened. Set aside to cool.

    2. Peel the prawns, discarding the shells, but leave the heads intact. Devein the prawns by using a small, sharp knife to cut into the back of each and remove the dark digestive tract. Put the salt in a bowl of cold water, add the prawns and stir, then drain well and pat dry with kitchen paper.

    3. In a wide, shallow dish, mix together the breadcrumbs, coconut and chopped herbs. Put the flour in another wide dish and the beaten egg in a third dish. Holding the prawns by the head, coat them with the flour, then the egg, then finally the breadcrumb mixture, being careful not to crumb the heads.

    4. Pour enough vegetable oil into a wide saucepan to reach a depth of 2cm; heat over a high heat. Test whether the oil is hot enough by dropping in a breadcrumb; it’s ready when the crumb fizzes and floats to the surface. In batches, fry the prawns until the breadcrumbs turn golden and the heads turn pink (about 1-2 minutes per batch). Once cooked, remove with a slotted metal spoon and set aside on kitchen paper to drain. Sprinkle the cooked prawns with sea salt flakes and serve immediately with the dipping sauce alongside. 


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