Make prawns the hero of your dinner table with my ultimate recipe for the best prawn cutlets! With a light and crispy coating plus a tangy pickled plum sauce for dipping, they’re an epic appetiser.
16 large raw prawns, peeled and deveined
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
½ cup corn flour (cornstarch)
3 egg whites, beaten
vegetable oil for deep frying
Homemade pickled plum sauce:
2 pickled plums, deseeded, finely chopped*
1 cup sugar
½ cup white vinegar
¼ cup water
2 tsp fish sauce
For the homemade pickled plum sauce, place ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved. Pour into a small bowl and allow to cool (it will thicken as it cools).
To prepare the prawns, use a knife to carefully butterfly each prawn without cutting all the way through. Use a rolling pin to gently tap the prawn meat so that you have a fairly even cutlet of prawn meat. Season each side with salt and set aside on a tray.
Place the panko breadcrumbs in a ziplock bag and use a rolling pin to pound until the crumbs are fine and even. Transfer crumbs to a large shallow plate or tray.
Place the corn flour and egg whites in a separate large plates or trays. Dip each prawn in the corn flour, then egg and then crumbs.
Fill a saucepan or wok to about 1/3 capacity with the vegetable oil. Heat over high heat. Once the oil is hot (325°F or 165°C or when a wooden spoon dipped into the oil forms small little bubbles) cook cutlets until golden. Flip them a couple of times as they cook to ensure an even colour. Drain on kitchen paper and season with salt while warm.
Serve warm with the pickled plum sauce.
– Pickled plums are available in jars from an Asian or Thai grocery store. Alternatively, omit the pickled plums and use ½ cup apple cider vinegar instead of the white vinegar.