Crab and prawn balls served with radish and sesame pickle

Makes 6 sticks Starters and mains




  • 18 raw prawns (about 300g), peeled apart from the tail shell
  • 200g white crab meat
  • 4 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, very finely
  • 2tbsp coriander, finely chopped
  • sesame seeds (optional)
  • 2tsp fish sauce
  • sunflower oil for frying

For the pickle

  • 1 small white Asian radish (daikon or mooli), peeled and finely grated
  • bunch red radishes, sliced and cut into fine matchsticks
  • 2tsp salt
  • 1tbsp sugar
  • 2tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2tsp toasted sesame seeds


First make the pickle. Put the radishes in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Leave for 30 minutes.

Rinse and squeeze out the excess moisture. Mix the sugar with the vinegar and pour over the radishes. Serve 10 minutes later scattered with sesame seeds. (The pickle will keep for up to 2 hours.)

Make a shallow slit down the back of 6 prawns and set aside. Remove the last 2cm of tail, with the shell intact, from the other 12 prawns and set aside. Chop the remainder of the prawns in the small bowl of a food processor, add the crab meat and pulse again to form a paste. Add the chillies, lime leaves, coriander and fish sauce and pulse to just mix together. Form into 12 balls with slightly damp hands. Insert the raw prawn tail into each ball and flatten slightly. Stick two balls each onto 6 short bamboo skewers, inserting a whole prawn between them. Scatter a few sesame seeds over the balls.

Fry the skewers in hot oil at a temperature of 200˚C/400˚F/Gas 6, either in a deep fat fryer or in a wok set over a hot barbecue. Alternatively, grill on an oiled rack set over a medium-hot barbecue (at this temperature, the coals will be covered in grey ash). Serve with the pickle.



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