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Fried Courgette Flowers with Prawns & Chives

  • Time preparation 20 minutes
  • cook time 15 minutes
  • Serve Serves 4

If you're growing courgettes, you'll notice lots of vibrant orange flowers alongside your vegetables. They're delicious when stuffed and fried! This stuffed courgette flower recipe has a Vietnamese-inspired prawn stuffing, and is served with a spicy dipping sauce

Recipe taken from Vietnamese by Uyen Luu (Hardie Grant, £22). Photography: Uyen Luu
  • For the prawn stuffing
  • 165g king prawns, patted dry
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ tsp caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • Juice of ¼ lime
  • Finely chopped zest of ½ lime
  • 30g garlic chives, sliced into 2 cm pieces
  • 12 courgette flowers, centre pistil or stamens removed
  • 400ml vegetable oil
  • For the dressing/dipping sauce:
  • 1 bird’s eye chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • Juice and finely chopped zest of ½ lime or lemon
  • 1g mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 10g coriander stems, finely sliced
  • For the courgette salad:
  • 2 courgettes sliced into 1 cm rings or 12 baby courgettes, halved
  • For the batter:
  • 50g plain flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 120ml cold sparkling water
  • 3 ice cubes

To make the prawn stuffing, in a small blender, combine the prawns, garlic, sugar, black pepper, fish sauce, lime and lime zest. Blitz on pulse a few times to form a coarse paste, marinate in the fridge for 30–60 minutes. Then let come to room temperature for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together all the dressing ingredients. On a griddle pan, grill the courgettes until soft and charred.

Mix the mint and garlic chives into the prawn stuffing. Stuff each courgette flower with 2 teaspoons of prawn mixture, leaving some room at the top to twist the flowers closed.

To make the batter, combine all the dry ingredients. Add the cold sparkling water a little at a time – the amount you need will vary – and stir to combine to a smooth double cream texture, breaking up any lumps. Then add the ice cubes.

To fry the courgette flowers, heat a deep fat fryer or oil in a deep pan to 140°C (280°F) or until it fizzes with small bubbles when you put a pair of wooden chopsticks into the oil.

Cook the flowers a few at a time so you don’t overcrowd the fryer basket or pan. Dip the flowers in the batter, shake off any excess, then fry on a medium–high heat for about 2–3 minutes until golden brown, or until the filling is cooked. It should fry with lots of bubbles, slowly turning golden. Rest and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat with the other flowers.

Ingredients

  • For the prawn stuffing
  • 165g king prawns, patted dry
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ tsp caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • Juice of ¼ lime
  • Finely chopped zest of ½ lime
  • 30g garlic chives, sliced into 2 cm pieces
  • 12 courgette flowers, centre pistil or stamens removed
  • 400ml vegetable oil
  • For the dressing/dipping sauce:
  • 1 bird’s eye chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • Juice and finely chopped zest of ½ lime or lemon
  • 1g mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 10g coriander stems, finely sliced
  • For the courgette salad:
  • 2 courgettes sliced into 1 cm rings or 12 baby courgettes, halved
  • For the batter:
  • 50g plain flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 120ml cold sparkling water
  • 3 ice cubes

Method

To make the prawn stuffing, in a small blender, combine the prawns, garlic, sugar, black pepper, fish sauce, lime and lime zest. Blitz on pulse a few times to form a coarse paste, marinate in the fridge for 30–60 minutes. Then let come to room temperature for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together all the dressing ingredients. On a griddle pan, grill the courgettes until soft and charred.

Mix the mint and garlic chives into the prawn stuffing. Stuff each courgette flower with 2 teaspoons of prawn mixture, leaving some room at the top to twist the flowers closed.

To make the batter, combine all the dry ingredients. Add the cold sparkling water a little at a time – the amount you need will vary – and stir to combine to a smooth double cream texture, breaking up any lumps. Then add the ice cubes.

To fry the courgette flowers, heat a deep fat fryer or oil in a deep pan to 140°C (280°F) or until it fizzes with small bubbles when you put a pair of wooden chopsticks into the oil.

Cook the flowers a few at a time so you don’t overcrowd the fryer basket or pan. Dip the flowers in the batter, shake off any excess, then fry on a medium–high heat for about 2–3 minutes until golden brown, or until the filling is cooked. It should fry with lots of bubbles, slowly turning golden. Rest and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat with the other flowers.

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