Blog Menu

Prawn Balls

This is a homemade version of a Chinese takeaway classic. Serve them with soy sauce or sweet chilli sauce for dipping. For this recipe you will need a deep-fat fryer.

Prep Time

    •    Prep time: less than 30 minutes
    •    Cook time: 30 minutes
    •    Yield: Serves about 20 (depends on how many balls)


    •    1 tsp oyster sauce
    •    1 tsp groundnut oil
    •    ¼ tsp fine sea salt
    •    1 tsp toasted sesame oil
    •    ½ tsp finely grated fresh root ginger
    •    300g/10½oz king prawns, raw and peeled
    •    dark soy sauce or sweet chilli sauce, to serve
    •    100g / 3½ oz sesame seeds oil, for deep-frying
    •    50g/1¾oz tinned bamboo shoots, drained and finely chopped


  1. Clean the prawns by removing the black intestinal sack that runs down the back of each one. Very finely chop two-thirds of the prawns using a sharp knife (or blend to a paste in a food processor) and cut the rest into 1cm/½in cubes.

  2. Mix the oyster sauce, groundnut and sesame oil, salt, ginger and bamboo shoots in a large pestle and mortar to make a paste. Stir in the finely chopped and the cubed prawns. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for about an hour.

  3. Preheat a deep-fat fryer to 180C.

  4. To make the balls, shape spoonfuls of the prawn filling into 18 balls with lightly wetted hands. Put the sesame seeds in a bowl. Roll each prawn ball in the seeds to coat and transfer to a plate.

  5. Carefully place up to six balls, one at a time, in the hot oil. Cook for 3½–4 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through – the prawns will be completely pink when cooked. Cook the remaining balls in batches.

  6. Carefully remove the cooked prawn balls using a slotted spoon and transfer to kitchen paper to drain. Serve the cooked prawn balls with dark soy sauce or sweet chilli sauce for dipping.

This great family recipe is thanks to BBC Good Recipes at


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published