Prawn nuggets

Prawn nuggets

Hungry For That
20 nuggets
Lauren Bamford

My father was a super-resourceful cook. If you were hungry, he could pretty much make something happen out of nothing.

As kids, my brothers and I would always be poking around the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon, kinda hungry and kinda hopeless. It was too early for dinner, but we were still hungry. Mum would shout out, ‘Eat an apple,’ to which we would reply, ‘But we’re not hungry for that!’. ‘Well, you can’t be really hungry then,’ my mum would say. At that point, my papa would always step in and whip up a lil’ something. More times than not, it was little fried nuggets he called ‘doodads’. If the cupboards were bare, the main ingredient would be onions and some dried prawns or ikan bilis.

I wanted to build on the nuggets by using some fresh prawns and coriander. It’s very seldom that I deep-fry something and don’t want a crispy exterior, but for these I really like a softer finish, which takes up the pickle juice much better. If you do want a crispy finish, then substitute the plain flour for self-raising flour and add 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda).


Quantity Ingredient
oil, for deep-frying
185g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
350g raw prawns, shelled and deveined, roughly chopped
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
handful coriander leaves, chopped


Quantity Ingredient
125ml apple cider vinegar
60ml white vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
250g cherry tomatoes

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
sour cream


  1. To make the brine, combine the apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, 190 ml water, salt, sugar, garlic and peppercorns in a saucepan. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Put the cherry tomatoes in an airtight container and cover with the pickle juice. Refrigerate for 24 hours, or more if you have the time. These will be good for 3–4 days.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy-based saucepan over medium–low heat to 160–170°C, or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns golden brown in 20–25 seconds.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, cayenne pepper, salt, egg, prawns, onion, coriander and 250 ml water in a bowl until combined.
  4. Scoop out a heaped tablespoonful of the mixture and gently drop it into the oil. Repeat with more of the mixture, without overcrowding the deep-fryer or saucepan. Fry for 3–4 minutes, or until golden brown, and drain on paper towel. Repeat until all of the batter is used up.
  5. Serve with the pickled tomato brine (save the tomatoes for other recipes) and sour cream.
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