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Vietnamese prawn pops with peanut sauce

The subtly sweet yet piquant peanut sauce is the perfect partner for these succulent bites. And kids love this, too

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18 AUGUST 2010

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)
For the peanut sauce

  • 250ml/9fl oz unsweetened coconut milk, stirred
  • 125g/4½oz peanut butter
  • 1 tsp lime rind, finely grated
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp hot chilli sauce
  • ½ tsp fresh ginger, grated

For the prawn pops

  • 500g/1lb 2oz minced pork
  • 375g/13oz prawns, peeled and de-veined
  • 25g/1oz fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 15g/½oz breadcrumbs
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil

Method

 
Presoak some wooden skewers in cold water for at least 20 minutes to prevent burning during cooking.

Combine the peanut sauce ingredients together in a heavy-based saucepan. Cook, but do not simmer, over a medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, whisking constantly, just until the sauce is smooth and slightly thickened (note that it will thicken further as it cools). Remove the pan from the heat.

Put all the ingredients for the prawn pops, except the vegetable oil, into a food processor and whizz until a chunky paste forms. Meanwhile, pour the vegetable oil onto a baking tray and brush evenly to coat. Using 2 spoons, shape the mixture into small quenelles or ovals and place on the prepared baking tray. Turn them to ensure they are well coated with oil then refrigerate for 1 hour to firm the texture.

Place a quenelle on the end of each skewer. Brush the barbecue cooking grates clean. Grill the prawn pops over direct high heat for 4 to 6 minutes with the lid closed as much as possible but turning once or twice until they are opaque throughout (cut one open with a sharp knife to test they are done).

Arrange the cooked prawn pops on a serving platter and serve warm with small bowls of the dipping sauce.

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