Sesame Fried Head-on Prawns with Cucumber Kimchi and Korean Chile Aioli

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  • Total: 1 hr 10 min
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Cook: 10 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1 1/2 cups panko

1/4 white sesame seeds

1/4 cup Korean chile flakes

8 to 12 large prawns, peeled and de-veined, tails intact, head on

Salt and pepper

1 cup all-purpose

3 whole eggs, beaten with 2 tablespoons cold water

Canola oil, for frying

1 cup cooked and seasoned brown rice

Kimchi, recipe follows

Aioli, recipe follows

5 scallion greens, thinly sliced on the bias


2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 medium sized cucumbers, seeds removed and cut in half lengthwise

1 cup red onion, thinly sliced

1 cup carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon garlic, chopped

1/8 cup fish sauce

2 tablespoons Korean chile flakes

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

2 cups rice wine vinegar


2 egg yolks* (See Disclaimer)

3 tablespoons Korean chile paste

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon garlic, chopped

3/4 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar


  1. In a large mixing bowl combine the panko, sesame seeds, and chile flakes. Season the prawns with salt and pepper and coat well with the flour. Dip the flour-coated prawns into the egg and then the panko mixture. 
  2. Prepare a fryer or medium heavy pot one-third full with the oil and heat over high heat to 350 degrees F. Add the prawns to the oil and fry until golden and crispy. Remove the prawns and drain on paper towels, sprinkle with salt. 
  3. On an oval plate, place a small mound of rice topped with the kimchi. Place two of the prawns over the kimchi and drizzle with the Aioli. Garnish with the sliced scallions. 


  1. Sprinkle the kosher salt on the flesh-side of the cucumbers and then place them flesh-side down in a perforated pan for about 3 hours. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the onion, carrot, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, chile flakes, sugar, and black pepper. When the 3 hours have passed, rinse the cucumbers well with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Slice the cucumbers into 1/8-inch half-moon shapes and add to the bowl. 
  2. In a saucepan, bring the vinegar to a simmer and pour it into the bowl of vegetables. Cover the bowl tightly and let it sit at room temperature for 24 hours before serving.


  1. In a food processor, puree the egg yolks, chile paste, sugar, and garlic. While the processor is running, slowly add the canola oil and the sesame oil until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the vinegar, and season with the salt and pepper. Add a little cold water if the aioli is too thick.

Cook’s Note

Beverage: Gewurtztraminer

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