Thai red prawns with coconut–lemongrass panna cotta

Thai red prawns with coconut–lemongrass panna cotta

Dig In!
Mark Roper

Thai food is normally served in big portions for sharing, but this dish is presented in a more modern and elegant way. The red curry prawns are served with a savoury panna cotta containing the classic Thai flavours of coconut milk and lemongrass. It is the perfect accompaniment to the spicy curry.


Quantity Ingredient
2 mango cheeks, cut into 1 cm strips
12 raw king prawns, peeled and deveined, tails intact
80ml peanut oil
2 teaspoons grated palm sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tomato, quartered, seeds removed and sliced into fine slivers
coriander leaves, for garnish
roasted cashew nuts, for garnish
thinly sliced spring onion, for garnish
lime cheeks, for garnish

Coconut–lemongrass panna cotta

Quantity Ingredient
400ml coconut milk
1 lemongrass stem, finely chopped
5g gold-strength gelatine sheets, softened in iced water

Curry paste

Quantity Ingredient
8cm piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 long red chillies, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce
8 coriander stems, roughly chopped


  1. For the panna cotta, place the coconut milk and lemongrass in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil then remove the pan from the heat. Squeeze the water from the gelatine then add the gelatine to the pan. Stir until dissolved then allow to sit to infuse for 10 minutes. Lightly spray an 18 x 28 cm tray with cooking spray. Strain the panna cotta into the prepared tray and place in the refrigerator until set, 11⁄2–2 hours.
  2. For the curry paste, place all the ingredients in a small food processor or blender and blitz to a fine paste. Set aside.
  3. Place a chargrill pan over high heat. Once hot, place the mango strips on the grill and cook on both sides until grill marks appear. Remove the mango from the grill and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, toss the prawns in 1 tablespoon of the curry paste and mix well.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium–high heat and cook the prawns until just cooked through, 3–4 minutes. Remove the prawns from the pan and set aside, covered, to keep warm.
  6. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the remaining curry paste to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2–3 minutes. Slowly add the remaining oil, whisking to combine. Pour into a heatproof bowl, add the palm sugar and lime juice and whisk to emulsify.
  7. Remove the panna cotta from the refrigerator, loosen the edges and turn it carefully onto a sheet of baking paper. Slice it into four 7 x 18 cm rectangles and gently transfer to serving plates. Add the prawns, mango and tomato slivers. Drizzle with the curry paste mixture. Garnish with the coriander leaves, cashew nuts, spring onion and lime cheeks.
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