This fresh Thai-style appetiser is from chef Martin Boetz of Longrain. A feather light egg net surrounds a salad studded with prawns, pork and lots of aromatic fresh herbs. Martin says: "Sweet, sour, salty and a little bit of heat. It's mainly about the balance of flavours. Taste as you go along and adjust the recipe accordingly."
- 200 g bean sprouts
- 2 prawns, peeled, de-veined and chopped
- 100 g lean pork mince, stir fried and cooled
- 4 lime leaves, finely shredded
- 4 lemon grass stalks, finely sliced
- ½ cup coriander leaves
- ½ cup mint leaves
- 2 red chillies, deseeded and finely sliced
- 2 tbsp peanuts, roasted and crushed
- 200 ml white vinegar
- 200 ml white sugar
- 2 Lebanese cucumbers, quartered length ways and sliced
- 2 cm ginger piece, peeled and julienned
- 2 golden shallots, peeled and finely sliced
- 1 chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
Coconut caramel sauce
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 3 coriander root, cleaned
- 2 cm ginger, peeled and julienned
- 100 g palm sugar
- 1 coconut, finely grated using a zester
- 30 ml fish sauce
- 30 ml water
- 5 white peppercorns
- 1 tsp prawn paste
- 2 tsp prawn floss
- 4 eggs, beaten and strained
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time: 3 hours
To make the egg net, beat and strain the eggs, set aside for a few hours to rest.
To make the cucumber relish, combine all ingredients and set aside.
To make the coconut caramel sauce, in a mortar and pestle pound the garlic, coriander and ginger into a uniform paste. Take a heavy based pot and add as little oil as possible and fry off the paste until light brown and caramelised. If more oil is needed, add it as it can be removed when the sauce is finished. Then add the palm sugar and melt it, the coconut and bring to just boiling point and stop the cooking by adding the fish sauce and water.
Set aside and let cool to room temperature. The sauce should be sweet but also salty from the fish sauce.
To cook the egg nets, use a very fine single or double spouted funnel and drizzle egg over a lightly greased pan over medium-high heat to make a net. Transfer to a serving plate. (If this is too difficult make a very thin omelette.)
Mix together all the filling ingredients and add the cooled sauce. Place a handful of filling on the egg net and roll the net across the filling. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Serve with cucumber relish on the side.