Steve and I often travel through Asia to taste test new seafood recipes. This one is a blend of some of our favourite twists. I love coriander and Steve loves pineapple. We start with an Asian Prawn Cake entrée, followed by a flavourful Asian curry of prawns blended to the fresh taste of tropical pineapple.
The amount of fresh coriander that you use in the Asian Prawn Cakes is up to you. For me there is no such thing as too much coriander but I understand that some people feel differently. In the ingredient list, I have added just enough coriander to add a fresh ‘zing’ to the prawn cakes.
You have two options for preparing the prawn cakes. One uses a food processor and the other is a little more hands on and involves a little gentle bashing.
500g green prawns, peeled and deveined
3 shallots, very thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
the zest of 1 lime
1-2 small red chillies, deseeded
1 tbs fish sauce
1-2 tbs finely chopped fresh coriander.
1 egg, lightly beaten
Peanut oil, for sautéing
Place the prawns, shallots, ginger, lime zest, chillies, fish sauce, coriander and egg in a food processor. Using the pulse button on the processor, process in short bursts, the ingredients in the processor bowl until they are combined but not a paste. Place the prawn blend into the fridge for about ten minutes to firm up.
Heat the peanut oil over a medium heat in a heavy based frypan. Add the prawn mixture, a tablespoon at a time, to the hot oil in the pan. Sauté until golden brown and then turn the Asian Prawn Cakes over and sauté the other side until golden.
Drain the prawn cakes on some paper towel before serving with your choice of dipping sauce. These wonderful morsels of flavour can be dipped into a sauce of your choice. A little wasabi paste mixed with soy sauce is one of my favourites. You can also try either soy sauce and ginger, or a mixture of rice wine vinegar, maybe sugar and mirrin or a wonderful robust chilli sauce - all make great dipping sauces.
No food processor? Then this is the option for you.
Place all of the ingredients with the exception of the egg and cooking oil in a sealable plastic bag (the Ziploc type). Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible from the bag. Lay the bag flat on a tea towel and give it some gentle bashing with a rolling pin or similar round edged walloper until the contents of the bag are smooth(ish). Remove the contents of the bag into a bowl and add the beaten egg. Combine well.
To sauté the prawn cakes, simply follow the cooking procedure outlined in Option 1.
All of the ingredients in the following curry are readily available in most supermarkets. The coconut cream, tamarind, palm sugar and fish sauce are usually found in the Asian section of the supermarket. The lime leaves and golden shallots can be found in the fresh produce section. You could substitute dried lime leaves that will also be found in the Asian section.
Use fresh pineapple in this curry.
2 tbs peanut oil
1/2 cup coconut cream
250g diced fresh pineapple
1 tbs tamarind puree
3 kaffir lime leaves
300g green prawns, peeled and deveined
1 tbs palm sugar (or equivalent brown sugar)
2 tbs fish sauce
4 small red chillies, deseeded
4 golden shallots, peeled
2 lemon grass stalks, white part only, finely sliced
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
Place al of the spice mixture ingredients into a mortar and pestle and pound them until a paste is formed. You could also use a food processor for this task. Add a tablespoon or two of water to the paste and stir until well combined.
Heat the peanut oil in a wok or frypan. Add the spice paste and stir fry until the paste is fragrant. Add the coconut cream to the spice mixture and continue to cook for a further couple of minutes. Now add the pineapple cubes, tamarind puree and lime leaves to the wok (or frypan). Continue to simmer for a further three minutes or until the pineapple begins to soften.
Add the green prawns to the sauce and stir well to incorporate the prawns into the mixture. Continue to simmer until the prawns have just turned pink and then add the sugar and fish sauce. Stir well to incorporate all the ingredients.
Serve the Prawn and Pineapple Curry with some delicious steamed jasmine rice on a freshly washed banana leaf.Reads: 1985