Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Tamarind Coconut Prawns with Steamed Cabbage and Shiitake Mushrooms

After having spent so many years living and working in Asia, I do have a strong tendency to cook Asian inspired food. The prawn recipe was one the lovely and heavily pregnant Kim cooked for us when we went back to Vietnam in January and it remained one of Mark's best meals in a trip full of amazing meals. She didn't give me the recipe but I kind of made it up and it tasted fine.

Tamarind Coconut Prawns

1 packet cooked peeled tiger prawns

tablespoon of freshly grated ginger

2 cloves garlic crushed

1 red chili

teaspoon of tamarind paste

half block of coconut cream in a cup of water

coconut oil

I like to cook with coconut oil as it is one of the most stable oils you can cook with, as well as being a more nutritious option. It is quite high in fat however so I only use a dessert spoon's worth.

Melt the coconut oil in a frying pan, fry the ginger, garlic and chopped fresh chili. Add the coconut cream or coconut milk. Stir in the tamarind paste. Bring the liquid to the boil and lower the heat, so that the liquid simmers and reduces in consistency. Simmer for 15 mins or so or until the liquid is creamy and full of flavour. Add the prawns in at the last minute just to heat through and serve.

I served this with another Asian style cabbage dish which I was inspired to create after reading this post which I found via the absolutely wonderful and inspirational Tastespotting.

Steamed Cabbage with Shiitake Mushrooms

Half white cabbage

Handful of dried shiitake mushrooms

Sliced red chili

Thinly sliced spring onion

Fried garlic flakes

I simply sliced a half white cabbage in my bamboo steamers and steamed it for about 3-5 mins. I soaked some dried shiitake mushrooms in a cup of hot water for 5 mins, thinly sliced them then combined them with the cabbage in a saucepan along with some more fresh chopped chili, spring onion and a sprinkle of Thai style fried garlic flakes (my new favourite authentic Asian ingredient - although clearly covered in bad oils!). I stirred it all through and served alongside the prawns for a tasty accompaniment.

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