Crisp Prawns With Oats, Chilli And Ginger

Get everything chopped and ready before you start cooking, and this will be on the table in minutes. The kaffir lime leaves need to be fresh, too; if you can’t get hold of them fresh, leave them out. Serve with stir-fried Asian greens. Serves four.

You Will Need:

  • 50g instant porridge oats
  • 500g peeled raw king prawns, patted dry with kitchen paper
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 40g cornflour
  • 200ml vegetable oil
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 3 red chillies, deseeded and julienned
  • 4cm piece ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • 5 stems fresh curry leaves (ie, about 50 leaves)
  • 8 fresh kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 4 large spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 tsp soft dark brown sugar
  • 2 limes, halved, to serve


Heat the oven to 200C/390F/gas mark 6. Spread the oats out on a small oven tray, roast for six minutes, until golden-brown, then remove and leave to cool.
In a bowl, mix the prawns with a quarter-teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper. Put the cornflour in a separate bowl. Heat the oil in a medium-sized saute pan on a high flame and, once hot, dip four to five prawns one at a time into the cornflour and then drop them straight into the hot oil. Fry for a minute or two, turning halfway, until just cooked. Use a slotted spoon to lift out the prawns and drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper while you flour and fry the rest.
Melt the butter in a large frying pan on a high heat and, once it starts to foam, fry the chilli, ginger and garlic for two minutes, stirring, until the garlic starts to brown. Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and kaffir lime leaves, fry for 30 seconds, stirring continuously, then add the oats and sesame oil and fry for one to two minutes, stirring, until the oats are golden-brown and crunchy. Add the spring onions, sesame seeds, sugar, prawns, a third of a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Stir through for about 30 seconds, then serve hot, with half a lime alongside each portion.

See Recipe in