Vermicelli-wrapped prawns with lemon basil mayonnaise

These deep-fried prawns with lemony mayonnaise make a delicious starter or party food.


For the prawns
  • 200g/4oz vermicelli pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 raw tiger prawns, shelled
  • 1 large bunch basil, leaves only
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the lemon basil mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 handfuls fresh basil leaves
  • 2 free-range egg yolks
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 200ml/7floz rapeseed or light olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation method

  1. For the prawns, preheat a deep-fat fryer to 180C/350F.

  2. Cook the vermicelli in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, or until just softened. Drain and refresh in iced water, then drain once more. Pat dry with kitchen paper and mix with a little of the olive oil.

  3. Wrap each prawn in a basil leaf, then wrap with 4-5 vermicelli strands.

  4. Carefully lower the prawns into the deep-fat fryer and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the prawn is cooked through and the pasta is crisp and golden-brown. Repeat with the remaining prawns.

  5. Remove the prawns from the deep-fat fryer, set aside to drain on kitchen paper and season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  6. For the lemon basil mayonnaise, blend the lemon zest, basil leaves, egg yolks, vinegar and mustard in a food processor until smooth. While the motor is still running, slowly add the oil until the mixture has emulsified and all of the oil has been added. Season with the lemon juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  7. To serve, spoon the mayonnaise into the centre of the serving plates. Place three prawns onto each plate, then scatter over the remaining basil leaves and drizzle with olive oil.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen

Less than 30 mins preparation time

10 to 30 mins cooking time

Serves 4

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