This Japanese recipe is for little fried prawn balls encased in a net of fried shiso. The secret is to get the oil just right, to brown the balls and cook them all the way through, but not to burn the shiso on the outside. The addition of mountain potato makes the fritters light and fluffy. This dish is designed to be part of a shared meal.
- oil, for deep-frying
- Japanese salted plum (umeboshi), to serve
- 5 okra, pierced and blanched in salted water, to serve
- raw mountain potato, cut into batons, to serve
- 400 g raw prawn meat
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sake
- ¼ cup grated mountain potato
- ½ large onion, grated or diced
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup potato flour
- 10 shiso leaves, finely sliced
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.
Chilling time 30 minutes
Finely chop the prawn meat. Place in a Japanese grinder (suribachi) or food processor. Add the salt and sake and process until quite smooth. Add the grated mountain potato, grated or diced onion, egg and potato flour and mix until well combined. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan to 170°C. Using wet hands, shape large spoonfuls of the prawn mixture into balls. Roll in the sliced shiso. Drop the balls into the hot oil and fry, in batches, for 3-4 minutes or until the prawn is cooked through, and the shiso on the outside is crisp but not browned.
To serve, remove the seeds from the umeboshi and finely chop the flesh. Serve the shinjo-age with the umeboshi flesh, blanched okra and batons of raw mountain potato.