Filter +

Thai Chili Prawns with Lime

(Photo by larryhalff/Flickr)

(Photo by larryhalff/Flickr)

Serves 4-6.


30 medium-sized raw prawns
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons palm sugar or brown sugar
4 spring onions (scallions), sliced diagonally
4 fresh red chillies
2 teaspoons finely chopped galangal
1 teaspoon Thai pepper-coriander paste
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3 tablespoons canned coconut milk
1 teaspoon rice flour
salt to taste
2 fresh kaffir lime leaves
or lime rind
sliced red chillies for garnish


Shell prawns, but leave tail segment intact. Carefully devein and use a sharp knife to slit each prawn lengthways from the top, for about a third of its length. Place in a bowl and mix in ginger, fish sauce, sugar and spring onions. Marinate for 10 minutes.

Split chillies and discard seeds for less heat. Pur&eacutee in a blender with galangal, lemon grass, onion and pepper-and-coriander paste, scraping down sides of blender as necessary.

Heat oil in a wok or frying pan, add paste mixture and stir-fry until fragrant. Add prawns with their marinade and cook, turning constantly for about 3 minutes or until they change colour. Remove pan from heat.

Mix coconut milk with rice flour and heat in a small saucepan, stirring as it comes to the boil and thickens. Add salt to taste and pour immediately into the centre of a serving plate or bowl. Place prawns on sauce and sprinkle with thread-fine strips of kaffir lime leaves or rind and fresh chilli.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)

Have something to say about this story? Share your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter.