Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thai Prawn Salad with Coconut Milk Dressing

My daughter had some friends over for potluck. She wanted to go Thai and came across a very easy-to-prepare salad. She sliced the fruits and I helped her with the prawns. The prawns had to be simmer-cooked and timing had to be precise to make them crunchy and not overdone. I didn't want to waste the prawn heads and shells, so I made prawn stock and freezed it for future use.

What you need in this salad:

12 large or 20 medium-sized prawns
3 tablespoons lime juice (big lime used in Thai cooking)
2 teaspoons lime rind, finely grated
3 or 4 teaspoons soft brown sugar

1 or 2 oranges
1 mango
1 capsicum
a few slices of pineapple

1/2 cup coconut cream (I used 1/2 packet Kara coconut cream)
3 tablespoons fish sauce
fresh coriander leaves
kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded

What you have to do:

1. Remove the heads of the prawns and shell the prawn leaving the tail intact. Slit the back of the prawns and devein.

2. Prepare a pot of salted water (make sure it is salty and don't worry about the high salt content) and bring to boil. Lower heat and put the prawns in until they turn red. Remove the prawns immediately the moment they turn red (this is crucial to get it crunchy and not hard) and douse them straightaway into a bowl of iced water (salt all washed away!). Allow the prawns to cool, then drain.

3. Mix lime juice, rind and brown sugar. Add in the cool prawns and mix. Set aside for 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile prepare the fruits. Remove the skin and pith of the orange and cut into segments.
Peel the mango and slice in thick strips. Slice capsicum into strips.

5. Arrange the fruits on a serving plate and place the prawns in the centre.

6. Mix the coconut cream and fish sauce together. Heat slightly over low fire. Cool and drizzle over the salad. Garnish with coriander leaves and kaffir lime leaves.
(The fruits and prawns were refrigerated before drizzling the cream and it turned out to be a cold salad.)

The pictures were taken by my daughter. She did the arrangement but forgot the garnishing.

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