School prawns wok-tossed in shrimp paste

School prawns wok-tossed in shrimp paste

By
From
The Food of Vietnam
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Alan Benson

As you may have already noticed, I use a lot of fish sauce in my cooking — well, all Vietnamese do. Fish sauce adds another dimension to your dishes, as well as a unique ‘umami’ flavour. Now let me introduce you to its more pungent cousin, shrimp paste, made by drying tiny shrimp in the sun for three months, mixing them with salt, grinding them into a powder, then fermenting them in a jar for another few months. Sounds awful I know, but the flavours that are released when added to your cooking are out of this world. Please don’t be scared — give it a go.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
300g small raw school prawns, heads and legs trimmed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon garlic, finely diced
1 tablespoon red asian shallot, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon shrimp paste, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
2 small red chillies, thinly sliced, plus extra to garnish
4 spring onions, cut into 4 cm lengths
coriander sprigs, to garnish

Marinade

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon chilli powder

Method

  1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix well to dissolve the sugar, then add the prawns and toss to coat. Cover and leave to marinate for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a hot wok. Drain the prawns then stir-fry over medium–high heat for 2 minutes, or until the prawns begin to change colour.
  3. Add the garlic, shallot, pepper, shrimp paste, chilli and spring onion and stir-fry for a further minute.
  4. Garnish with coriander and extra chilli and serve with jasmine rice.
Tags:
The Food of Vietnam
Luke
Nguyen
Red
Lantern
Vietnam
Vietnamese
Asian
Asia
South
East
Southeast
South-east
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