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Thai Recipe: Long Chim's Crunchy Prawn Cakes

Turn out a Thai feast at home with Chef David Thompson's iconic Long Chim Prawn Cakes.

Long Chim (Image Credit Leigh Griffiths)
Long Chim (Image Credit Leigh Griffiths)

We've always got time for Thai!

If you're looking to recreate a delicious Thai banquet at home, we've got you covered with a crowd pleasing recipe for Long Chim's iconic crunchy prawn cakes. It's a snack that's good enough to outshine the rest of the meal... it's that good.

Check out how to make these deliciously moreish crunchy prawn cakes from Long Chim's David Thompson. 

Long Chim
Long Chim

Long Chim's Crunchy Prawn Cakes: Ingredients

Paste ingredients:

  • 10g or 8 coriander roots
  • A pinch salt
  • 30g garlic
  • 40g red shallots
  • 30g peeled ginger
  • 10g lemongrass
  • 2g or around 3 or 4 Thai basil buds
  • A large pinch of ground white pepper

Crunchy prawn cakes ingredients:

  • 350g chopped prawns – ½ very coarsely chopped ½ almost pureed
  • 100g coarsely minced yam beans (also known as jicama - found in an Asian supermarkets)
  • 3 g fresh prawn tomalley (optional)
  • 100g or ½ cup finely minced pork fat – 100 g
  • 2 egg whites, very lightly whisked
  • 1 tablespoon coconut cream
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce 
  • A large pinch white sugar
  • A pinch galangal powder 
  • A large pinch chopped spring onions
  • A small handful of torn Thai basil leaves
  • A small handful of whole Thai basil leaves, roughly 10 g
  • Oil for deep-frying
  • 1 small bowl of plum sauce for dipping
Long Chim
Long Chim

Long Chim's Crunchy Prawn Cakes: Method

  1. Make a fine paste from all the paste ingredients listed above.
  2. Wrap the chopped and pureed prawns in a towel and squeeze to extract any excess liquid. 
  3. Coarsely mince the peeled yam beans, wrap them in a clean towel and squeeze to extract any excess liquid. It should yield around ½ cup. 
  4. Combine the paste with  the squeezed prawns and yam beans, the tomalley, pork fat, coconut cream and egg whites.
  5. Mix well then start to slap the mixture to develop the protein. Basically, this technique requires you to pick up the mixture in your hand and throw it down into the (sturdy) mixing bowl you are using.
  6. Season the mixture with fish sauce, sugar and galangal powder.
  7. Now slap once more and, in the words of Long Chim Chef David Thompson, “slap it damned well, almost abusively so.
  8. Stir through the torn Thai basil and chopped spring onion. 
  9. Pinch and roll the prawn cakes in dumplings – each weighing about 30 g. 
  10. Press a few Thai basil leaves into the cakes. 
  11. Deep fry the prawn cakes in oil. 
  12. Serve with plum sauce.
  13. Enjoy!

Makes approximately 24 crunchy prawn cakes.

Enjoyed this recipe? You should also check out our other recipes from beloved local chefs. Or, if you can't quite be bothered to cook check out our edits of the best Thai restaurants in Sydney and our favourite Thai spots in Melbourne.