Braised Prawn Cakes

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1 lb. prawns
3.1/2 oz. fat pork
7 oz. water-chestnuts
6 tablespoons peanut oil
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon gourmet powder
2 teaspoons cornflour in 2 teaspoons water
1 tablespoon cooking wine
1 tablespoon minced scallion
1 tablespoon minced ginger root
a dash of pepper

1) Remove heads, legs, shells and tails of prawns. Slash lightly down the back of each and, putting prawns in a basin of cold water, remove the black line running down like a spine. Wash clean and drain.

Pare water-chestnuts, wash and cut into fine grains.

2) Chop the prawns and fat pork into mash. Mix this with water-chestnut, egg, cornflour solution, salt, gourmet powder, cooking wine and pepper. Stir well and hard until the seasoned prawn mince becomes firm and cohesive.

3) Heat pan on fire. Put in peanut oil. Move round pan so that oil covers evenly its bottom. Shape prawn mince into balls. Drop them one by one into pan. Dip a slice in oil and with it, flatten the prawn balls into small flat round cakes. Fry till the cakes are slightly browned on both sides. Remove and drain.

4) Keep a little oil at bottom of pan. Heat it. Put in minced scallion and ginger. Stir-fry till there is a good smell. Pour in 1/3 cup of boiling water. Return prawn cakes to pan. Cook a little while till sauce is reduced. Transfer to serving plate.


(1) For step 3, when prawn cakes are first put in the pan for sauteing, do not be in a hurry to move them. Wait till one side is set in form before they can be moved round for even heating. Fry only till they are lightly browned on one side; then turn them over to fry the other side.

(2) For step 4, the addition of a little water is to make the prawn cakes better flavored and colored; it also helps to keep their tenderness.

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© 2008 Chinese Recipes