Coconut prawn salad with rice noodles, lychees & cashew praline

Coconut prawn salad with rice noodles, lychees & cashew praline

4 as part of a shared meal
Chris Middleton

This super summer salad has been very popular at Huxtable, although the fresh chillies surprised some people with their burst of heat. The lychees add a wonderful tropical element.


Quantity Ingredient
1 coconut, halved, peeled, grated and toasted, (see Note)
3 tablespoons cashew praline, (see below)
400g vietnamese rice noodles, blanched and refreshed, (see Note)
6 mint sprigs, picked
1 handful coriander leaves
2 red bird’s eye chillies, sliced
1 pomelo, segmented and separated
8 lychees, peeled, stoned and quartered
80ml lime juice
fish sauce
1 banana leaf square, wiped with a damp cloth, for serving
thinly sliced long dried red chilli strips, to garnish

Cashew praline

Quantity Ingredient
200g palm sugar, roughly chopped
80g caster sugar
1 red bird’s eye chilli
1 teaspoon dried shrimp
155g cashew nuts, toasted

Poached prawns

Quantity Ingredient
1 whole lemongrass stem, bruised
50ml fish sauce
2 kaffir lime leaves
12 raw king prawns, peeled and deveined


  1. For the cashew praline

    In a small saucepan, melt the palm sugar and caster sugar with 50 ml water over medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture is a caramel colour.
  2. Meanwhile, blitz the chilli and dried shrimp in a food processor.
  3. Stir the shrimp mixture and cashews into the caramel. Mix well, then pour out onto a tray lined with baking paper. Allow to cool and harden for at least 30 minutes. Once cool and firm, place in a food processor and pulse to the size of coarse breadcrumbs. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
  4. To poach the prawns

    Hall-fill a saucepan with cold water and add the lemongrass, fish sauce and lime leaves. Bring to the boil, then remove the lime leaves and lemongrass. Add the prawns and cook for 3–4 minutes, or until firm and just cooked.
  5. Remove the prawns from the poaching liquid, place on a tray or plate and immediately place in the fridge. (I prefer not to use an iced water bath to chill the prawns, as this just waters down their flavour and can make them soggy.)
  6. To serve

    Put the coconut, cashew praline, noodles, herbs, chilli, pomelo and lychees in a bowl. Add the lime juice and fish sauce and toss together.
  7. Cut the prawns in half, add to the salad and toss again. Serve on a banana leaf, garnished with dried chilli strips.


  • To toast grated coconut, spread it over a baking tray lined with baking paper and toast in a 160°c oven for 10–15 minutes, until golden and slightly crisp.


  • To blanch rice noodles, cook them in a pot of boiling water for 20 seconds. Drain, rinse under cold running water until cooled, then toss with a little vegetable oil so they don’t stick.
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