Luke Nguyen adds classic Vietnamese herbs and spices to fresh prawns simmered in coconut milk in this deceptively simple seafood recipe. Nobody will believe how quick and easy this is to make!
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) large tiger prawns (shrimp)
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 red Asian shallots, minced
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) coconut milk
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 coriander sprigs, to garnish
1 long red chilli, julienned
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.
Peel only the body of the prawns, leaving the heads and tails intact. Devein them. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and fish sauce and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Divide the fish sauce mixture into two halves, and use one half of the mixture to marinate the prawns for 10 minutes.
Place a large frying pan over medium–high heat, add 1 tbsp of the oil, then seal the prawns for 1 minute on each side. Remove the prawns and set aside.
Wipe the frying pan clean, return the pan to medium–high heat and add the remaining oil, the garlic and shallots and fry for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the coconut milk and remaining fish sauce mixture, and stir.
Return the prawns to the pan, tossing them to coat in the sauce. When the liquid begins to boil, take off the heat. Garnish with black pepper, coriander and chilli.