Prawn and sweet potato fritters

Prawn and sweet potato fritters

Leanne Kitchen

Delicious banh tom originated in Hanoi, Vietnam – home to some pretty kick-arse street foods. As with many such dishes, versions abound, with some more battery, some more prawny and some with the sweet potato cut thicker. We like ours with a minimum of batter to glue everything together, and a ton of sweet potato and prawn. We prefer to use tiny, whole school prawns when they’re in season but, if they aren’t, or if you prefer, you can use small, peeled, raw king or tiger prawns if the crunch of shells and heads doesn’t do it for you.


Quantity Ingredient
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into thick matchsticks
75g plain flour
90g rice flour
1 tablespoon cornflour
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
300g raw school prawns or small prawns, peeled, deveined and sliced lengthways
vegetable oil, for frying

Dipping sauce

Quantity Ingredient
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 red bird’s eye chillies, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons white rice vinegar
60ml fish sauce
2 tablespoons caster sugar

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
2 small handfuls fresh herb leaves, such as mint, Vietnamese mint, Thai basil or coriander


  1. For the dipping sauce, combine all the ingredients in a bowl with 190 ml water and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
  2. Put the sweet potato in a bowl of iced water and stand for 1 hour to crisp. Drain well.
  3. Combine the flours, turmeric, sea salt and white pepper in a large bowl, then slowly whisk in 225 ml water to form a smooth batter. Add the prawns and sweet potato and stir gently to combine well.
  4. Preheat the oven to 120°C.
  5. Pour in enough oil to generously cover the base of a large nonstick frying pan set over medium–high heat. Drop heaped tablespoonfuls of the fritter mixture into the hot oil and flatten slightly with a spoon to form cakes about 5–6 cm across. Cook the fritters, in batches, for 3 minutes on each side, or until deep golden and the prawns and sweet potato are cooked through.
  6. Drain the fritters on paper towel and keep them warm in the oven until all the fritters are cooked.
  7. Serve the fritters with the herbs scattered over and the dipping sauce, passed separately.
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