Chive and basil prawn balls with palm-sugar dipping sauce

Chive and basil prawn balls with palm-sugar dipping sauce
  • 0:20 Prep
  • 0:20 Cook
  • Makes 20
  • Capable cooks

These stylish Thai-style prawn balls are the perfect starter to a Christmas feast.

Featured in
Starters recipes, Prawn recipes


  • 400g peeled green prawns
  • 400g boneless skinless perch fillets, chopped
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed coarsely chopped fresh Thai basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
  • 2 teaspoons fresh or bottled lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • Peanut oil, for shallow frying
  • 20 butter lettuce leaves, to serve
  • 100g bean sprouts, to serve
  • 20 fresh mint leaves, to serve

palm-sugar dipping sauce

  • 60ml (1/4 cup) white vinegar
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) water
  • 40g (1/4 cup, firmly packed) finely chopped palm sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 fresh long red chilli, thinly sliced


  • Step 1
    Place the prawns, fish, basil, chives, garlic, lemon rind, juice and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process until well combined. With damp hands, divide mixture into 20 equal portions and shape each into a 5cm ball.
  • Step 2
    Add enough oil to a large frying pan to reach a depth of 3cm and place over high heat (to test if oil is ready, a cube of bread turns golden brown in 15 seconds). Cook balls, 5 at a time, for 2 minutes each side or until brown and cooked through. Use an egg flip to transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat with remaining balls, reheating oil between each batch.
  • Step 3
    Meanwhile, to make the palm-sugar dipping sauce, combine vinegar, water, sugar and fish sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to the boil. Boil, uncovered, stirring, for 2 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat and add chilli. Set aside for 2 minutes to cool.
  • Step 4
    Serve balls on a platter with lettuce leaves, bean sprouts and mint leaves. Serve with palm-sugar dipping sauce.


Substitute green basil if Thai basil is not available.

  • Author: Amanda Kelly
  • Image credit: John Paul Urizar
  • Publication: Australian Good Taste



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