Spicy Prawn and Vermicelli Salad
It is difficult planning a fully asian meal when Hub decides to serve some of his better wines. On occasions like these one has to go western or compromise on a fusion of east and west.
The last time we had guests (a mixed couple like us) over, I started with a Spicy Prawn and Vermicelli Salad and finished with a Duck Confit with potatoes cooked in duck fat. Until last night we've had really hot weather so the salad was a refreshing start to a rather heavy meal.
Confit de canard, pommes de terre sautées à la sarladaise
This dish is best prepared a little beforehand so that it could be served chilled. I made another one for my lunch with a few ladies 2 days later and this time it accompanied a curry as I only served water during the meal. We had a lovely sparkling Moscato Freisa wine before that though and I fear that I'll never find enough bottles for myself from now on since they would all be turning up at the same shop to stock up soon.
Spicy Prawn and Vermicelli Salad :
The vermicelli :
3 small bundles of dried mung bean vermicelli
half a lemongrass stalk (bashed)
The prawns :
20 raw medium prawns (peeled and deveined)
3 garlic cloves
2 fresh red chillies
a small slice of ginger (julienned)
1 tbsp fish sauce
juice of one lime
The garnishing :
2 small cucumbers (sliced)
half a small red onion (finely sliced)
fresh mint, basil and coriander leaves (shredded)
The dressing :
2-3 garlic cloves (minced)
2 tbsp palm sugar (grated or in syrup)
1 bird's eye chilli (sliced)
3-4 tbsp fish sauce
juice of 1,5 lemons
2 kaffir lime leaves (cut thinly)
bit of lemongrass (bashed)
Fill a salad bowl with just enough hot water to cover the mung bean vermicelli. Salt the water and infuse the lemongrass in it. Soak the vermicelli till the water is absorbed. Let it cool and then leave to chill in the fridge.
Pound the garlic and chilli till you get a rough paste. Marinate the prawns for an hour with the garlic paste, ginger, fish sauce and lime juice.
Heat a bit of canola oil in a frying pan. Fry the prawns till cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Prepare the dressing by mixing all the ingredients together. Leave to chill in the fridge for at least an hour. Remove the lemongrass and lime leaves before using it.
When ready to serve, assemble the chilled vermicelli in a big salad bowl. Cover with the cucumber and red onions, followed by the fresh mint and basil leaves. Pour the dressing over it.
Finally add the cooked prawns and garnish with the fresh coriander.
My family arrives from Singapore tomorrow for a visit. Will be busy but would be taking the opportunity to do a spot of sightseeing.