I created this noodle salad recipe when I was cooking in the markets in London throughout the summer. If there are two things you can be sure people are going to want to eat in the sunshine, it’s prawns and noodles.
This recipe combines the two and was always a hit. To make it a little more special, use a few king prawns. Although much more expensive, they are ideal for munching with lots of noodles and curry sauce. Just make sure you serve this with lots of napkins or you’ll be cleaning up the turmeric stains for months.
– 10g fresh red turmeric, peeled (or 1 tablespoon dried turmeric)
– 6 garlic cloves, peeled
– 2 red bird’s-eye chillies
– 3cm piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
– 1 tbsp chopped coriander roots (optional)
– 1 tsp coarse sea salt
– 2 tbsp vegetable oil
– 6 fresh tiger prawns, deveined
– 1 tbsp fish sauce
– 1 tsp caster sugar
– 200ml coconut cream
– 150g fine vermicelli rice noodles, blanched for 1 minute in boiling salted water and then refreshed in cold water
– 2 spring onions, finely shredded
– 20g Thai shallots, peeled and sliced (or any sweet shallot)
– 10g mint leaves, slightly torn
– 10g coriander, chopped
– 10g chives, roughly chopped
– 1 lime, cut into wedges, to serve
– sweet chilli sauce (see page 150), to serve
1. Pound the turmeric, garlic, chillies, ginger and coriander roots to a coarse paste in a pestle and mortar, using the salt as an abrasive.
2. In a large frying pan or wok, heat the oil on a medium–high heat and fry the paste, stirring constantly to avoid it sticking to the pan.
3. When the paste begins to turn golden brown, add the prawns and fry for a further 2–3 minutes until they are pink and cooked through.
4. Add the fish sauce and sugar, and fry for a further 30 seconds to caramelise the sugar; the paste will begin to darken at this stage.
5. Add the coconut cream, blanched noodles, spring onions, shallots, mint, coriander and chives, and delicately toss everything together in the pan, allowing the noodles, salad and prawns to mix and be coated in the sauce.
6. Serve in bowls with wedges of lime. This salad is also great served with a good helping of sweet chilli sauce.
Cook Thai by Sebby Holmes is published by Kyle Books. Photography by Tom Regester.