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Thai Inspired Prawn Salad

This delicious prawn salad is so easy to make that you can even prepare it after a long day. It has all the beautiful Thai flavours that we’ve come to love and I’m sure you will enjoy the refreshing combination of prawns, coconut, lime, coriander and mint. 
Course Appetizer, Entree, Starter
Cuisine Asian Inspired, Thai
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 130kcal
Author Alexandra

Ingredients

Salad

  • 16 cooked prawns * medium sized, shelled
  • 1 stalk lemongrass the white part only *
  • 1 long red chilli *
  • 2 shallots * large
  • 3 large kaffir lime leaves *
  • ½ cup mint leaves loosely packed
  • ½ cup coriander leaves loosely packed

Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar superfine
  • 45 ml lime juice
  • 25 ml Thai fish sauce
  • 80 ml coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoon salted peanuts finely chopped, optional *
  • lime wedges for serving optional

Instructions

  • De-vein the prawns* see the notes below
  • Set the prawns aside. 
  • Trim the lemongrass as per the notes below and, as finely as possible, slice the white section only. As lemongrass is quite coarse, I also chop it finely after slicing.
  • Finely slice the chilli and shallots. When using the long red chilli, for a better appearance, I remove the seeds and membrane.* 
  • To finely slice the kaffir lime leaves, I fold them firmly in half lengthways, and, with a very sharp knife or cleaver, I remove the central spine. I then slice them as finely as possible. These, too, are very coarse if not cut very finely. 
  • Combine the lemongrass, chilli, shallots, lime leaves (or zest), mint and coriander in a bowl.
  • Add the prawns and toss gently.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, lime juice, fish sauce and coconut milk and add to the prawns.
  • Toss lightly and serve scattered with the chopped peanuts if using.
    Serve with lime wedges if desired.

Notes

*If you buy prawns in the shell, remove the shell. It’s not necessary to leave the tail attached but I think it makes for better presentation. De-vein the prawns. To get maximum benefit from the prawns, the shells and heads are ideal to make into an excellent stock.
* To devein cooked, shelled prawns, run a sharp knife down the back of the prawn from the top to the tail. There is generally a dark vein, although it is sometimes clear. Remove it with the tip of a knife, your fingers or rinse under a tap. If you rinse the prawn, pat dry with a paper towel.
* Choose lemongrass stalks that are firm and unblemished. With a sharp knife or cleaver, remove the leafy top part. Peel off the tough, outer layers of the lemongrass, until you get to the pale, lower section. Use a sharp knife to chop off the root end.
*The heat from long red chillies varies considerably. Check to ensure how hot it is so you can use an amount to suit your taste. The one I am using today is quite hot, which is what I personally prefer. However, they are sometimes very mild. If you want really hot chilli, I recommend you use the small chillies.
*The shallot will look like a small onion. It has a milder, more delicate flavour than an onion. If your shallots are small I suggest you use 4.
*Kaffir lime leaves are readily available, fresh or frozen, from most Asian grocers. If you are not able to find them, substitute with 1 teaspoon of lime zest.
*For larger gatherings, this recipe is easily doubled.
*For cocktail parties, you could serve individual prawns and some dressing on Chinese spoons or leaves of baby cos lettuce. When serving on Chinese spoons, I chop the prawn into 4 or 5 pieces. If serving on cos lettuce, I recommend you place the salad on the leaves at the last moment to avoid the leaves becoming soggy. Or, you could put the salad on a platter, surrounded by cos leaves, and let the guests assemble their own.
*The dressing can be made the day before and refrigerated until needed.
*The salad ingredients can be prepared in the morning, covered with cling wrap and refrigerated until needed.
*It is best to combine the salad and the dressing at the last moment.
*If you’re uncertain that one of your guests may have a peanut allergy, either omit them completely or serve them in a separate bowl.

Nutrition

Calories: 130kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 707mg | Potassium: 280mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 480IU | Vitamin C: 23.8mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 2.2mg