Fragrant Prawn Curry
A tasty, warming dish for the chillier nights, courtesy of Ken Hom
This fragrant prawn curry is a delightful stir-fry dish. I enjoyed it for the ﬁrst time in Singapore some time ago. The aromatic lemon grass gives it a unique fragrance. Prawns have a distinct but delicate taste and the clean, mildly citrus touch of the lemon grass is a perfect counterpart. Use fresh lemon grass whenever possible – if your search is fruitless, you may substitute 2 tablespoons of lemon zest.
Ingredients: (Serves 2–4)
- 450g (1lb) raw prawns
- 1 stick of lemon grass
- 1 fresh red or green chilli
- 2 tbsp ground nut oil
- 100g (4oz) onions, coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp ﬁnely chopped garlic
- 2 tsp ﬁnely chopped fresh root ginger
- 2 tsp Madras curry paste
- 1 tsp chilli bean sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
- 2 tsp light soy sauce a few fresh sprigs of
- coriander, to garnish
- salt and pepper
Step one Peel the prawns and discard the shells. Using a small sharp knife, remove the ﬁne digestive cord. Wash the prawns in cold water with ½ teaspoon of salt, rinse well and pat them dry with kitchen paper.
Step two Remove the outer layer of the stick of lemon grass until you get to the tender, whitish core. Chop the lemon grass core ﬁnely. Split the chilli in half and carefully remove and discard the seeds. Chop the chilli ﬁnely and combine it with the lemon grass.
Step three Heat a wok or large frying pan over a high heat until it is hot. Add the oil and, when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the onions, garlic, ginger, lemon grass and chilli and stir-fry for 1 minute, then add the prawns and continue to stir-fry for 1 minute. Now add the remainder of the ingredients, season with ¼ teaspoon of pepper and add 2 tablespoons of water. Continue to stir-fry for 4 minutes or until the prawns are ﬁrm and cooked. Turn the mixture onto a warm serving platter, garnish with the coriander and serve at once.