Orzo Prawn Cakes with Feta and Herb Sauce

Seafood recipes

Orzo Prawn Cakes with Feta and Herb Sauce

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These delicious Mediterranean-inspired prawn cakes are uniquely made with orzo pasta that not only binds all the ingredients but it also adds texture. Flavoured with Kalamata olives, fresh herbs, garlic and lemon, the mixture is shaped and coated with panko crumbs and seeds before deep-fried until crispy and golden. Served with a fragrant and creamy feta cheese and herb sauce, it makes for a light yet sophisticated mid-week meal.

Recipe by: Karla Strydom

Image by: Nické Spies

Wine pairing by: Siphokazi Mayaphi

1-2 hours

For the prawn cakes, bring a pot of water to the boil. Add the prawns and boil, 2½ minutes. Refresh in ice water and strain. Flake with a fork into bite size pieces and refrigerate until needed.

Bring a pot of water to the boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente, 8 minutes. Rinse.

Blend 250ml (1 cup) of the cooked pasta in a food processor with 15ml (1 tbsp) water until fine, 1½ minutes.

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat and sauté the onions until tender, 2 minutes.

Combine the remaining orzo with the pureed orzo, sautéed onions, flaked prawns and rest of the ingredients for the prawn cakes. Form into 12 thick patties. Arrange on a tray lined with plastic wrap. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze, 30 minutes.

Heat the oil for deep-frying to 180°C.

For the crust, combine the panko, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds in a large bowl. Dip each frozen prawn cake into the seasoned flour and shake off the excess. Dip each into the whisked eggs and lastly into the panko mixture to coat evenly.

Deep-fry the cakes until golden and crisp, 5 minutes. Drain on kitchen paper.

For the sauce, combine the feta, cream cheese and water in a food processor and blend until smooth. Stir in the parsley, mint and dill. Spoon the sauce into a serving dish and top with the pine nuts and a drizzling of olive oil

Serve the cakes topped with more herbs, if preferred, and add the sauce and lemon wedges on the side.


TIP:  For a lemon-flavoured sauce, add 15ml (1 tbsp) of lemon juice while blending the sauce in a food processor.


Wine pairing: Sauvignon Blanc, Helderberg region

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Recipe for 6 people


  • 450g Pescanova Argentinean prawn meat
  • 330ml (1⅓ cup / 210g) orzo pasta
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
  • 1 (160g) large onion, grated
  • 1 (4g) clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 20ml (4 tsp) Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 10ml (2 tsp) parsley, finely chopped
  • 10ml (2 tsp) basil, finely chopped
  • 5ml (1 tsp) oreganum, finely chopped
  • 5ml (1 tsp) chili flakes
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) lemon juice
  • 2.5ml (½ tsp) lemon zest
  • 1 large egg
  • 5ml (1 tsp) salt
  • 2.5ml (½ tsp) black pepper, finely ground
  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • 750ml (3 cups) panko crumbs
  • 125ml (½ cup) pumpkin seeds, chopped
  • 125ml (½ cup) sunflower seeds, chopped
  • 250ml (1 cup / 125g) cake flour
  • 2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
  • 4 large eggs, whisked
  • 330ml (1⅓ cup / 170g) Danish feta, crumbled
  • 80ml (⅓ cup / 80g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) water
  • 5ml (1 tsp) parsley, finely chopped + extra to serve
  • 5ml (1 tsp) mint, finely chopped + extra to serve
  • 5ml (1 tsp) dill, finely chopped + extra to serve
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) pine nuts, toasted
  • olive oil, to drizzle
  • 6 lemon wedges