This recipe for prawn cakes, popular street food in Cambodia, is similar to a fritter: chopped prawn meat is added to a tempura batter, which is then shallow-fried to flatten, and transferred to another pan for deep-frying. This technique results in crispy cakes that are perfect for dipping.






Skill level

Average: 3.6 (28 votes)


  • 125 g tempura flour 
  • 185 ml water
  • 200 g raw prawn (shrimp) meat, finely chopped 
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying 

Lime dipping sauce

  • 250 ml (1 cup) lime juice 
  • 1 tsp freshly black ground pepper 
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Cook's notes

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.


Combine the lime dipping sauce ingredients in a bowl and stir until the salt has dissolved. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour with the water to form a smooth batter.

Add the prawn meat and mix again. Heat 80 ml of vegetable oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. In a wok, also heat enough vegetable oil for deep-frying to 180°C (350°F), or until a cube of bread dropped in the oil browns in 15 seconds.

For each prawn cake, add 2 tbsp of the prawn mixture to the frying pan. As soon as the mixture hits the pan, flatten each cake, using the spoon or a spatula, to about 2.5 mm.

Fry, in batches, for 1 minute, then transfer to the wok and deep-fry for 5 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towel.

Serve warm, with the lime dipping sauce.