Prawn crispy leaf dumplings
( MAKES 20 )
Photo by Jan Bilton
These tasty dumplings are made from a prawn mousse that is enclosed in a spinach leaf before being dipped in a light batter coating. This recipe is based on one from chef Aaron Davies at the Hilton Fiji’s Maravu restaurant. It has numerous ingredients but they can be prepared well in advance and cooked just before serving. Accompany them with nouc nam dipping sauce, recipe follows. Otherwise, serve with a sweet chilli dipping sauce on the side.
|250 g||Raw prawn cutlets, shells removed, prawns deveined|
|1 clove||Garlic, a large one|
|2 cm||Chopped ginger, peeled and chopped|
|2 tsp||Finely chopped lemongrass, using stem end only|
|1 small||Green chilli, seeded and chopped|
|1 small||Kaffir lime leaf, julienned|
|½ cup||Coriander, leaves and stalks|
|½ cup||Basil leaves, chopped|
|1 tsp||Oyster sauce|
|1 tsp||Fish sauce|
|1 tsp||Sugar, or to taste|
|20 small||Spinach leaves, about 9cm long|
|¼ cup||Cornflour, plus extra for dusting|
|¼ cup||Tapioca flour, or use rice flour|
|1 bottle||Soda water, use as much as needed to make a batter|
|1 pinch||Salt, to taste|
|1 bottle||Canola oil, for deep frying|
- Ensure the prawns are well drained and patted very dry. Blend the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, chilli, kaffir lime leaf, coriander and basil in a food processor, until roughly chopped. Add the prawns and pulse a few times, until coarsely chopped. Stir in the oyster and fish sauces and sugar.
- Cook a small portion of this mousse and taste. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Cover and refrigerate the remainder for 1-2 hours.
- Trim the spinach to size, if required, about 9cm long.
- To make the batter, combine the flours in a bowl. Make a well, then gradually whisk in enough soda water to form a thin batter. Season.
- To make the dumplings, place a small amount of prawn mousse in the centre of a spinach leaf. Close the leaf by pinching the top and bottom (stem end) together. Add a little mousse to help it stick, if necessary. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
- Dust with the extra cornflour, dip in the batter then deep-fry in hot oil for about 30 seconds. Drain on paper towels. Serve with nouc nam dipping sauce or your preferred chilli sauce on the side.
Nuoc nam dipping sauce
Into a blender, place 1 small red (bongo) chilli, 1 small seeded green chilli, 1 clove crushed garlic along with grated palm sugar, fish sauce and lime or lemon juice to taste. Blend until smooth. If too hot, dilute with water. This is an excellent sauce to serve with the dumplings or as a dipper for crisp vegetables.
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