Mexican food is having a resurgence. It has evolved from stock-standard tacos and burritos to finessed, flavour explosions – this recipe for Tempura Prawn Tortillas from Luke Mangan’s latest cookbook, Sharing Plates, is proof.

“You’ll find a great balance of flavours here — the sweetness of the pineapple and the heat from the chilli marry so well with tempura prawns,” says Luke Mangan of his recipe.

Take pride in whipping up all the elements from scratch, and reap the rewards of your bold-flavoured handy work.

Tempura prawn tortillas with pineapple salsa & chipotle mayo

4 small soft tortillas, cut to 10 cm (4 inch) rounds
2 iceberg lettuce leaves, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons Chipotle mayonnaise (see below)
Small handful coriander (cilantro) leaves

Pineapple salsa
125 g (4½ oz) pineapple, finely diced
1–2 chillies, seeded and finely diced
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
8 mint leaves, roughly chopped
8 coriander (cilantro) leaves, roughly chopped

Tempura prawns
4 prawns
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
1 quantity tempura batter (see below)


For the pineapple salsa
Near serving time, combine all the ingredients in a bowl, mixing well.

For the tempura prawns
Peel and devein the prawns, removing the tails. Cut a few small incisions on each side of each prawn so they don’t curl up during cooking.

Two-thirds fill a deep-fryer or large heavy-based saucepan with vegetable oil. Heat to 170ºC, or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns golden brown in 20 seconds.

Dip the prawns into the tempura batter, coating them evenly. Carefully lower the prawns into the oil and cook for 3–4 minutes. Drain on paper towel and season with salt and pepper.

To serve
While the tempura prawns are cooking, warm the tortillas briefly under a medium-hot grill (broiler), or for 10 seconds in a microwave.

Place the tortillas on a serving platter and add the lettuce and pineapple salsa. Top each with a tempura prawn, then drizzle with the chipotle mayonnaise. Serve garnished with the coriander.


Chipotle mayonnaise
60 g (2¼ oz) chipotle chillies in adobo sauce
250 g (9 oz) mayonnaise
1½ tablespoons lime juice 

Blend the chipotle chillies in a small food processor to form a paste. Push through a sieve, into a bowl. Add the mayonnaise and the lime juice and stir to combine. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, where it will keep for up to 2 weeks.

Tempura batter
150 g (5½ oz) tapioca flour
150 g (5½ oz) rice flour
¼ cup ice cubes
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lemon
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) soda water (club soda)

Combine the tapioca flour and rice flour in a bowl. Add the ice cubes, lime juice, lemon juice and soda water, mixing with a fork to form a batter — a few little lumps are fine, as they will crisp up in the deep-fryer. Make the batter just before you need to use it, or the batter will become flat.


This recipe is from Sharing Plates: For Brunch, Lunch and Dinner With Friends by Luke Mangan, available at Dymocks and QBD The Bookshop.

Makes 4 small tacos | Difficulty: Medium