A delicious Thai dish with wok fried marinated rice noodles, stir fried crab in red curry paste, topped with pan fried Indonesian Tiger Prawns.
Normally I feel a bit sheepish about describing my recipes, but as this recipe was created by Mrs Ferret chef I feel that I can praise it without feeling silly. This was truly delicious and worthy of a good Thai restaurant, the kind of dish you would happily pay good money for and return for it time after time.
This dish uses the same curry paste used in my Thai King Prawn Red curry – so is an excellent way to make two very different meals from the same curry paste. Remember this paste freezes very well or can be stored in a refrigerated air tight container for up to 5 days.
Its important to use good prawns, and Indonesian tiger prawns in their shells are the best I can get in Edinburgh at the moment. Keep the heads on prawns when you cook them, there is so much flavour in them, and take care to remove them from the heat the second they are cooked – overcooked prawns are such a disappointment.
This dish may seem fiddly but it is really quite easy to cook. There are three elements to the dish. The Prawns are fried quickly in hot oil, the crab is fried in the curry paste and cooked rice noodles are wok fried in a marinade. None of these are complicated but as with all good dishes they are worth doing right.
For an optional garnish separate some uncooked dried rice noodles and add to hot oil, they will quickly puff up, remove them from oil and drain on absorbent paper. They add a wonderful texture to this and many other Thai dishes, and can be stored in an airtight jar for next time.
Preparation 30-35 minutes, cooking time less than 20 minutes
For the curry paste:
8 cloves garlic – peeled
thumb of ginger – peeled and slice thinly
2 large red chillies – remove stalk, keep seeds
4 red bird eye chillies – remove stalk keep seeds
Zest and juice of 1 lime
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp tamarind paste
2 tsp shrimp paste
2 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. coriander stalks
4 dessert spoons brown sugar
3 dessert spoons desiccated coconut
6 black peppercorns
2 sticks lemongrass – bruise, remove outer husk, slice thinly
Handful of peanuts
8-10 Thai basil leafs – remove stalk
2 lime leafs
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
Method: Use a mini chopper, food processor or mortar and pestle to pound into a smooth paste. Slicing ginger and lemongrass beforehand makes it much easier to form a smooth paste. Once a smooth paste has been formed separate into two even portions. As mentioned above the spare portion can be frozen or stored in an airtight refrigerated container for up to 5 days.
For the curried crab
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
5 tablespoons of curry paste – see above
1 tin white crab meat
For the Tiger prawns
4 Tiger prawns – devein but keep head and shell on
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
For the wok fried rice noodles
2 portions of pre cooked rice noodles
3 to 4 cloves garlic – minced
Thumb of ginger – cut into fine matchsticks
125ml fish stock
1 red bell pepper – sliced into thin strips
Handful coriander – roughly chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
Method: In a bowl combine the stock, fish sauce, dark soy, light soy, sugar, lime and sweet chilli sauce. Mix well until combined and set aside ready to add to the wok.
Fried rice noodles – see opening paragraph
handful of peanuts
2-3 tbsp. roughly chopped coriander
To cook the curried crab: Heat 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil in a wok or frying pan, add the curry paste and fry for 5 minutes. Add the crab just before serving and use the back of a spoon to stir it through the sauce (to prevent crab breaking up). Set aside and heat through just before serving.
To cook the prawns: Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan until smoking hot, add the prawns and fry for 1-2 minutes on each side. The second the prawn turns pink turn it over, once it is pink on both sides remove from oil and drain on absorbent paper. The prawns will stay hot in their shells for at least 5 minutes, so cook them then fry the rice noodles.
To cook the rice noodles: heat 2 tbsp. vegetable oil in the wok until smoking hot, add the garlic, ginger and bell pepper and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the rice noodles, stir well then pour in the sauce from the bowl (see ingredients section). Stir fry until the sauce has almost been absorbed or cooked off, this will take 4-5 minutes.
To assemble dish: Place bed of noodles on plate, then ladle the curried crab on top. Place the prawns on top of the curried crab then sprinkle the garnishes on top.