This Crispy Thai Shrimp Cake is yet another crowd-pleasing appetizer and my favorite item to order whenever we are at Thai restaurants. This version requires no corn starch or flour so it is important to use the freshest prawns / shrimps you could get your hands on.
The trick to achieving the “QQ” or bouncy effect with every bite is to “grab and slam” the prawn mixture against the bowl for several times. This “grab and slam” technique is used widely in Chinese cuisine. If you know the proper term for this technique, I’d love you to share with me via the comments section below!
1 pound (450 g) fresh prawns – peeled and deveined (I’m using grey prawns)
2 garlic cloves – minced
2 coriander roots – minced (substitute with coriander stalks if unavailable)
½ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Makes 5 medium sized patties
Recipe source: Serious Eats (with slight modifications)
Put all the ingredients into a food processor and grind for 15 seconds, scrapping down the sides if necessary. It is not necessary to process until smooth as the chunks of shrimp meat provides a good texture.
Transfer into a bowl and scoop up all the paste with one hand and throw it back into the bowl. You should hear a thud sound. Repeat for 15 times, until the paste turns sticky. Refrigerate (uncovered) for at least 10 mins. You could prepare a few hours ahead of time before the actual cooking.
Roughly divide the shrimp paste into equal desired portions. Mould them into round patties.
Roll them in the bread crumbs and set aside.
Heat up a large skillet or pan with vegetable oil about 1 inch from the base.
When the oil is hot, turn down heat to medium and gently put in the patties. Do not overcrowd the pan as the shrimp cakes will puff up.
Cook each side until golden brown (about 4 – 5 mins) and drain on paper towel.
Serve with plum sauce or Thai sweet chilli sauce.