Skip to content
Open menu Close menu

Feed your appetite for cooking with Penguin’s expert authors

penguin logo

Za’atar-Crumbed Prawn and Sweet Potato Cakes

by Silvena Rowe from Orient Express

Combining nutritious sweet potatoes with king prawns, this potato cake recipe makes for a delicious starter. Serve hot with the tahini, sumac and lemon sauce.

From the book

Silvena Rowe


500g sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 onion, finely chopped
½ tsp ground cumin
1 green chilli, de-seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
150g raw king prawns, shelled and cut into small chunks
4 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp breadcrumbs
small bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped
flour for dusting
4 tbsp za’atar
5 tbsp breadcrumbs (extra)
To serve:
5-6 tbsp olive oil (extra)
Tahini, sumac and lemon sauce (see below for ingredients and method)

Essential kit

You will need a food processor.


First make the Tahini, Sumac and Lemon Sauce. Place 4 tbsp of tahini in a food processor, add the grated zest and juice of a lemon, along with one crushed garlic clove and ½ tbsp of ground sumac. Process, adding 3 tbsp of olive oil and 120ml water until you get a thin, cream-like consistency. Season to taste and set aside until needed.

Cook the sweet potatoes in boiling water for about 20 minutes, until soft. Drain and roughly mash, then season. In a pan, sauté the onion, cumin, chilli, garlic and prawns in 4 tablespoons of olive oil on a high heat, for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes in a mixing bowl. Add the sweet potato mash and fold in 5 tablespoons of breadcrumbs and the coriander. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

The mixture will be quite sticky, so when you’re ready, flour your hands and shape into 20 little balls, then pat them down into oval-shaped cakes. Combine the za’atar and the second 5 tablespoons of breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Coat the cakes in the breadcrumb mix, then place on a separate plate ready to fry.

Heat the extra olive oil in a large pan and fry the cakes, a few at a time, on a high heat. Place on kitchen paper to drain.

Serve hot with the Tahini, Sumac and Lemon Sauce.

Please note: Moderation is enabled and may delay your comment being posted. There is no need to resubmit your comment. By posting a comment you are agreeing to the website Terms of Use.


Subscribe to The Happy Foodie email newsletter

Get our latest recipes, features, book news and ebook deals straight to your inbox every week