Serves about 1 dozen
½ lb (250 g) raw prawns
1 tsp (5 ml) salt, divided
1 tbsp (15 ml) egg white, lightly beaten
1 pinch white pepper
½ tsp (2.5 ml) sugar
¼ tsp (1 ml) sesame oil
1½ tsp (7.5 ml) canola oil
1½ tsp (7.5 ml) cornstarch
2 tsp (10 ml) finely chopped chives or green onions
⅓ cup (75 ml) all-purpose flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup (125 ml) panko or regular dried breadcrumbs
canola or peanut oil, for deep-frying
Spicy Sweet and Sour Sauce, to serve, make ahead, recipe follows
2 tbsp (30 ml) cornstarch
¼ cup (60 ml) water
¼ cup (60 ml) ketchup
¼ cup (60 ml) vinegar
1 tsp (5 ml) pepper
1 tsp (5 ml) red pepper chili flakes
¼ cup (60 ml) sugar
2 tbsp (30 ml) light soy sauce
2 tbsp (30 ml) honey


  1. In a strainer, toss prawns with ½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt. Let sit 1 minute then rinse. Pat with paper towel to remove excess moisture and coarsely chop into large pieces. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir together remaining salt, egg white, pepper, sugar, sesame and canola oil, cornstarch and prawns.
  3. Transfer mixture to food processor and grind to a coarse texture, pausing to scrape as needed, before adding chives or green onions. Pulse a bit longer to produce a sticky, somewhat smooth paste. Transfer to a bowl. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.
  4. Using a small cookie or ice cream scoop, or using 2 tbsp (30 ml) of the prawn paste, roll into balls with wet hands. Roll prawn balls in flour to lightly coat. Then dip into egg wash, letting excess egg drip off. Finally roll into panko or breadcrumbs, to coat. Set breaded prawn balls on a plate. Repeat with remaining mixture.
  5. Pour 1½-in (3.75 cm) of oil into a heavy-bottomed saucepan or wok. Heat over medium-high heat until about 350 F (180 C). Fry balls in batches of 3 or 4, for 2 to 3 minutes, turning frequently, until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove from hot oil and drain on paper towel. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes and serve with Spicy Sweet and Sour Sauce.
  6. TO MAKE SPICY SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE: In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch and water. Set aside.
  7. In a medium saucepan, combine ketchup, vinegar, pepper, chili flakes, sugar and soy sauce. Heat over medium heat and bring to a boil. Whisk in cornstarch mixture and stir until it starts to boil. Remove from heat and stir in honey. Makes 1 cup (250 ml)
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