These Vietnamese fritters are really simple to make using just sweet potato, prawn and flour. Served with lettuce and a homemade dipping sauce.
Nuoc mam dipping sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 brid's eye chillies, finely chopped or sliced
- 150 ml fish sauce
- 100 ml white vinegar
- 140 g caster (superfine) sugar
- 2 litres (2 qts) vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) sweet potato, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 200 g (7 oz) whole school prawns (small shrimp)
- 200 g (7 oz) rice flour
- 200 g (7 oz) glutinous rice flour
- 200 g (7 oz) tapioca flour
- 1 iceberg lettuce, leaves separated
- 1 bunch Vietnamese mint, leaves picked
- 1 bunch shiso, leaves picked
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Make the dipping sauce by combining the ingredients and 200 ml water in a bowl and stiring through until the sugar has dissolved. Makes 600 ml, the remainder can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
2. Whisk the batter ingredients and 250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) water in a large bowl, making sure there are no lumps.
3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium–high heat until it reaches 180°C (350°F) on a kitchen thermometer.
4. Add the sweet potato and prawns to the batter and toss well to coat. In the bowl, loosely divide the mixture into eight portions. Carefully spoon four portions of the fritter mixture into the oil and cook, turning occasionally, for 8–10 minutes, until golden and crispy.
5. Use a slotted spoon to remove the fritters from the oil and drain on a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat with the remaining portions of batter.
6. Serve the fritters either on a large serving platter or on individual plates with the lettuce leaves, Vietnamese mint, shiso and nuoc mam on the side. Wrap the fritters and a few herbs in the lettuce cups, then dip into the nuoc mam. Enjoy!
Recipe from Street Food Vietnam by Jerry Mai, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99