300 grams raw prawns, peeled with tails attached
1½ cups whole milk
40 grams butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, crushed
3 tablespoons plain flour
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan
2/3 cup flour
2 eggs, whisked
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
4 cups rice bran oil or other neutral oil with high smoke point
Smoked paprika aioli
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1 clove garlic, crushed
100ml rice bran oil or other neutral oil
150ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cut the tails from the prawns, chop the meat and set aside.
Heat the milk in a small saucepan and add the prawn tails. Simmer for 5 minutes , skimming any froth from the surface. Remove from the heat and set aside to infuse.
Heat the butter in a saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Cook for 8 minutes over a gentle heat until softened but not coloured. Increase the heat to medium, add the prawn meat and cook for 3-4 minutes until almost cooked through.
Sprinkle over the first measure of flour, stir well to combine and cook for one minute.
Strain the prawn milk and add to the prawn mixture one third at a time.
Cook until the sauce has thickened and all of the milk has been added. Stir in the Parmesan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill for 3 hours or up to overnight.
Put the whisked eggs, flour and breadcrumbs in three separate shallow bowls.
Scoop a heaped tablespoon of the prawn mixture, gently roll it into a ball then roll in the flour.
Place on a tray lined with baking paper and repeat with the remaining mixture. You should have around 16 balls. Use a fork to roll each ball in the whisked eggs and then in the breadcrumbs. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to firm up.
Aioli: Put the egg yolks, paprika and garlic in the bowl of a small food processor. Beat together and then with the motor still running, add the oils one after the other in a very slow drizzle. Once it starts to thicken you can add the oil a little faster, but don’t rush it. Once all the oil has been added the aioli should be very thick and creamy. Whisk in the lemon juice and season to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To cook: Heat the oil in a deep saucepan until it has a sheen on the surface and a bread cube dropped in will pop to the top and fry golden in about 20 seconds.
Cook the prawn balls in batches for 2-3 minutes, around 4-5 at a time, until golden. Drain on paper towels.
Serve immediately with Smoked Paprika Aioli and/or mashed avocado seasoned with a squeeze of lime juice, a small crushed garlic clove and some chopped coriander. Makes 16