Food & Wine
Prawn and vermicelli salad with coconut cream, kaffir lime and betel leaves
This Thai dish eats beautifully as a stand-alone salad or component of a feast, or you can wrap the salad in the betel leaves (you'll just need a few extra) and eat as hand-held morsels - perfect for entertaining, and the recipe can be easily multiplied to fit your needs.
- 100g mung bean vermicelli noodles
- 50ml coconut cream
- fish sauce, to taste
- 12 green king prawn cutlets, butterflied and blanched in boiling salted water for 90 seconds
- 6 betel leaves
- 4 kaffir lime leaves, very finely julienned
- 1 tbsp. fried shallots, ground to a powder
- ½ bunch coriander, picked and roughly chopped (reserve 2 roots for the dressing)
- 2 red eschalots, finely sliced
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- 2 long red chillies, finely julienned
- 2 limes, peeled and segmented
- 1 lemongrass stem, white part only, very finely sliced
- 50g toasted peanuts, crushed
- 3 bird's eye chillies, chopped
- 2 coriander roots, thoroughly cleaned and chopped
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ tbsp. dried shrimp, chopped
- 50g palm sugar, grated (pick a pale Thai sugar)
- 3 tbsp. fish sauce
- 2 tbsp. lime juice
- For the dressing, grind the chilli, coriander root, garlic, shrimp and palm sugar as finely as possible using a mortar and pestle, then mix in the fish sauce and lime juice until combined. Adjust the balance with more fish, sauce or sugar if necessary.
- Place the noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for four minutes, then drain and cut into short lengths.
- Dress the noodles with the coconut cream and season to taste with a splash of fish sauce.
- For the salad, combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the prawns and dressing and toss gently but thoroughly.
- Arrange the betel leaves on a serving platter, followed by the noodles and prawn salad mix. Scatter over the shredded lime leaves and shallot powder and serve.
- Seek out a quality fish sauce, they're not that expensive and the difference is amazing.
- Cooked crabmeat would work well instead of prawns.
- If you can't find betel leaves (generally available from Asian grocers) and want to serve individual portions, lettuce cups would be a good substitute.
Tell us in the comments below, how do you like your prawns? In a salad? Or a soup? Or something else entirely?
First appeared on Stuff.co.nz.
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