For people who care about their food

Ainsley Harriott’s Prawn and Chilli Ginger Cakes

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes [eh? How does he get 10 minutes from “2-3 minutes each side”?]

Serves 4 (makes 12)


  • 2 thick slices white bread, crusts removed, about 100g (4 oz)
  • 250g (9 oz) peeled raw prawns
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped [personally I always use a red chilli or two for this recipe]
  • 2.5cm (1 inch) piece fresh root ginger, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander [I forgot to put the coriander in one time and it didn’t make any real difference]
  • 1 teaspoon salt [too much, I think, try using half and sample it – then add more if you need to]
  • 1 egg
  • vegetable oil for shallow-frying [I prefer to deep-fry them in a wok]
  • baby lettuce leaves, to serve [but they taste just as good without the lettuce!]

What am I like?! (Ainsley’s own catch phrase), I can’t even copy down a recipe without varying the instructions.




1. Place the bread in a bowl, cover with water, soak for about 10 seconds, then then squeeze out the excess water. Place the drained bread in a food processor with the prawns, chilli, ginger, garlic, coriander, salt, and egg. Pulse until well blended.

2. Heat the oil and shallow-fry spoonfuls of the mixture for 2-3 minutes on each side until puffed and golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and serve warm on a bed of baby lettuce leaves.

What could be simpler? As I’ve said before, I never measure anything so I haven’t ever strictly followed the above instructions, although I’ve made these prawn cakes several times and they’re now a firm favourite in our household. When I’ve been making them the resultant mix has seemed rather wet, and at first I was a bit hesitant as to whether it would work. However, I experimented by frying up one spoonful and was rewarded with a lovely fluffy prawn cake just as Ainsley had promised – so I think the recipe is fairly forgiving to those who aren’t precise with their measurements.

There are loads more wonderful things in Gourmet Express but if you want to discover them you’ll need to get the book as obviously I can’t copy all Ainsley’s recipes here. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

Please also see my photo essay of how to cook Ainsley’s prawn and chilli ginger cakes.

Ainsley Harriott’s Gourmet Express

Buy from Amazon UK
Buy from Amazon US

Ainsley Harriott
Hardback, 178 pages
2000, BBC Worldwide
ISBN 0 563 55179 8
RRP: £16.99


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