Thai King Prawn Curry

King Prawns cooked in a delicious Thai red curry sauce.

This is a quick and easy recipe to make a delicious Thai prawn curry, although you can substitute the prawns for chicken, pork, white fish or tofu if you are a vegetarian. Serve with boiled fragrant jasmine rice.

The authentic flavours come form a wonderful homemade curry paste, like all good Thai curries. There are quite a few ingredients in the paste, however they are perfectly balance and can be used in many other dishes. All the ingredients I use are easily obtained in Scotland from your local Asian supermarket, and increasingly your regular supermarket.

  For this recipe you only need half the paste, the other half can be stored in fridge for up to five days, or frozen for next time. You can also use the paste to marinade chicken before roasting, or as I did marinade tiger prawns then roast them in the curry paste – just amazing!

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Serves Two people

Preparation 10 minutes, cooking time 10-12 minutes

 

Ingredients and method

For the curry paste:

4 large red chillies – remove stalk  and seeds

6 bird eye chillies – remove stalk and seeds

3 red onions – peel, roughly dice

Thumb sized piece root ginger – peel, roughly chop

2 sticks lemongrass – bruise, remove outer husk and thinly slice

1 medium sized garlic bulb – peel each clove

2 tbsp. cashew nuts

Juice of 2 limes

2 lime leafs

2 tbps ketchup manis

2 tbsp. oyster sauce

1 tbsp. dark soy sauce

3 tbsp. vegetable oil

2 tbsp. coriander stalks

3 tbsp. desiccated coconut

3 tbsp. brown sugar

3 cardamom pods

3 cloves

Method: Use a mini blender or food processor to blitz all the ingredients into a smooth paste. Cutting the harder and more fibrous ingredients such as the ginger and lemongrass helps for a smoother paste. You can also do this the authentic Thai way by using a mortar and pestle – unfortunately due to my disabilities I can no longer do this.

You only need half the paste for this recipe, to store the other half either freeze it (does not effect the flavour like some claim) or store it in a refrigerated airtight container for up to 5 days.

For the main dish:

Half the curry paste

150-200ml coconut milk

50ml water

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

225g Raw king prawns – Shells removed, devein

1 large red chilli – remove stalk, thinly slice

6-8 large Mint leaves – bruise, thinly sliced

2 tbsp. roughly chopped coriander leaf

Method: Heat 1 tbsp. of oil in a wide deep frying pan or wok over a high heat. Add the curry paste, reduce heat to medium and stir fry for 6-8 minutes until the paste is very aromatic. If it begins to catch add a little of the water to loosen the sauce.

Add the water and 150ml coconut milk to the sauce along with the mint leaves, increase the heat until the sauce begins to boil then reduce to a simmer for 2-3 minutes. Taste test the sauce, add a little extra coconut milk if you wish but keep some to drizzle over the dish. Add the prawns and poach them in the sauce for 1-2 minutes, until they change from grey to pink and sauce starts to bubble again.

To complete the dish sprinkle the chopped coriander and sliced chillies on top, and drizzle a swirl of coconut milk on top (1-2 tbsp.). Serve straight away with some fragrant boiled jasmine rice.

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Blue Swimming Crab with Spiced Paella Rice

Spiced tomato based Paella rice dish with chunks of blue swimming crab

This recipe, like many good recipes came from me experimenting with store cupboard ingredients and some leftover fresh ingredients. I wished to make a rice dish which was distinctly different from classic rice dishes such as risotto, paella and jambalaya. I am so happy with the results I have decided to share this recipe with you, in the hope you will give it a try.

The flavour base of the dish comes from a fried mixture of chilli, bell pepper, garlic, celery and red onion. This is softened then rice is added along with a spice mixture, this is fried and gently stirred until each grain is coated. White win is then added and cooked off followed by diced tomato flesh, stock, a little water herbs and seasoning. The rice is simmered until it has softened and the juices have almost been cooked off. For the last few minutes chunks of blue swimming crab are carefully placed on top, the steam and residual heat gently warms the crab through. Just before serving the crab is gently stirred through the rice using the back of a wooden spoon, to ensure the chunks don’t break up and get lost in the rice.

I think this dish is a real winner, its simple to cook with a simply fantastic flavour.

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Serves two people

preparation 15 minutes, cooking time 35-40 minutes

Ingredients and method

150-170g Blue swimming crab chunks (from tin)  – drain before adding to rice

2 large red chillies – remove stalk/seeds, finely dice

1 yellow bell pepper – finely diced

4 cloves garlic – peel, crush, finely chop

2 sticks celery – finely diced

2 red onions – finely diced

150g Paella rice

2 tablespoons olive oil

75ml dry white wine

6 round tomatoes – remove skin and seeds, then dice

500ml chicken stock

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp chilli powder

1.5 tsp smoked sweet paprika

Pinch saffron

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried parsley

150-200ml water

2 tsp brown sugar

Generous handful coriander leaf – roughly chop, half for dish, half for garnish

Lime wedges – for garnish

Sea salt and black pepper – for grinding

 

Method: Start by heating 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a deep flat frying pan then add then chopped chilli, garlic, celery, red onion and yellow bell pepper. Fry over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened.

Add the rice then add the spice mixture – 1 tsp cumin, coriander, chilli and 1.5tsp smoked paprika. Stir well until the rice, spices and fried mixture is combined and each grain of rice is coated. Fry and gently stir for 1-2 minutes until all liquid in the pan is absorbed by the rice then pour in the white wine and stir gently until it is cooked off.

Once the wine is cooked off add the diced tomato flesh, 500ml chicken stock and a generous pinch of saffron. Next add 1 tsp dried oregano, basil and parsley, 2 tsp brown sugar, 150ml water , half the chopped coriander and sprinkle of salt (not too much as there is salt in the stock) and a generous amount of ground black pepper. Gently stir, bring to the boil then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Leave to cook uncovered for 25-30 minutes until the liquid is nearly cooked off and the rice is plump and tender. If the rice is not ready simply add an extra 50ml water, stir through and give it an extra 5-10 minutes.

Once the liquid is nearly cooked off add the crab chunks along with a little more chopped coriander, place across the surface of the rice as it simmers away allowing the steam to warm the crab through. Once the liquid has been fully cooked off use the back of a wooden spoon and very gently fold the crab through the dish. Serve with a garnish of coriander leaf and lime wedges.

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Chicken enchiladas with tomato and guajillo chilli sauce.

Enchiladas stuffed with leftover chicken in a rich Mexican tomato and guajillo chilli pepper sauce. Oven baked and served with tomato and avocado salsa.

This dish is a great way of turning leftover chicken into something really special. Garlic, tomatoes, red pepper, red chilli and guajillo chillies are pan roasted until charred to unlock their deep flavours, then blitzed into a smooth sauce which is mixed with the leftover chicken. The tortillas are brushed with a mixture of a little oil and tomato sauce before baking so that they take on some flavour and to prevent them over crisping or burning. A little of the sauce is also used as a garnish on top of the enchiladas.

A simple yet delicious salsa is made from tomatoes, red chilli, red pepper, avocado, coriander, red onion, lime juice, a little sugar and seasoning. It is important to leave this covered at room temperature for 1-2 hours to allow the flavours to fully develop. It just doesn’t taste as good if its been chilled, like tomatoes in general.

The dish is completed with some sour cream drizzled over the enchiladas, along with a garnish of coriander and lime wedges. I have been to Mexico many times and this takes me back there…..

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Serves two people

Preparation 15-20 minutes, cooking 10-12 minutes (plus time for salsa to develop)

Ingredients and method

For the salsa:

1/2 a red chill – finely chopped, remove seeds (keep for hot)

1/2 a red bell pepper – finely diced

3 tomatoes – diced

Juice of 1 lime

1/2 tsp brown sugar

1 baby avocado – diced

1 medium size red onion – diced

Good handful coriander – roughly chopped

Generous amount of freshly ground black pepper

Salt – to taste

Method: Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well, cover bowl and set aside at room temperature for 1-2 hours. This helps the favours combine and gives a far tastier salsa.

For the enchiladas

Approx. 150g leftover/precooked chicken – cut into small pieces or shred

4 corn tortillas – must be corn ones 

3 large garlic cloves – keep skin on (see method)

2 guajillo chillies – if using dried, soak for 45-60 mins then discard water

1/2 red chilli – remove seeds and stalk

1/2 red pepper

3 round tomatoes

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp sugar

1 tbsp. coriander leaf, plus a few leafs for garnish

1/4 tsp salt

Generous amount of freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

Sour cream – to garnish

Method: Start by dry roasting the pepper, chilli, tomatoes, garlic (keep skin on) and guajillo chilli peppers over a medium high heat. Turn occasionally but the aim here is to dry roast and get some charred colour to bring some deep flavour to the sauce. Once the peppers and chillies are charred on all sides, carefully remove the garlic and tip the rest into a small food processor/mini chopper. Allow the garlic to cool then squeeze to remove roasted garlic from the skin then place in food processor. Add the coriander, sugar, salt and pepper then blitz until a smooth rich red sauce is formed. Taste test and add a little extra sugar, salt or pepper if required, the sauce should be rich and flavoursome, but not too sweet. Retain 1-2 tbsp. of the sauce and mix the rest through the chicken. With the retained sauce mix with a tbsp. of vegetable oil – this will be used to brush the enchiladas.

Preheat your oven to approx. 180°C then start to make the enchiladas. Lay one out flat on a chopping board, place a generous amount of filling just below the middle then roll the bottom over carefully then roll into a enchilada. Place into a roasting dish with the seam on the bottom. Repeat for the other three enchiladas, making sure to space them out in the roasting dish. Using a brush give the enchiladas a thin coat of the sauce/oil mix to prevent the tortillas crisping up too much during baking. If you have any sauce left you can also add a couple of small drops on top of the enchiladas before baking, this is mainly for aesthetics and entirely optional. Add to the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes.

When plating, take care when transferring the enchiladas so they don’t loose their shape or any of the contents. Serve with a side portion of the salsa and garnish with sour cream and a few coriander leafs.

 

 

 

Indonesian Prawn Curry

A delicious Indonesian curry with King prawns and potatoes.

This curry uses the same paste used for my two other Indonesian dishes currently on my blog, Nasi Goreng and Mee Goreng. The paste is fried in a little oil, then par boiled potatoes, fish stock, coriander leaf and coconut milk are added.  The curry is simmered for 35 minutes until the potatoes are cooked and absorb the wonderful aromatic flavours. Just before serving butterflied king prawns are added and poached in the sauce.

The dish works well with rice, noodles or breads such as Paratha. It is quite filling by itself due to the potatoes.

You only require half the paste for this recipe, the same as Nasi and Mee goreng. The remainder can be stored in an airtight refrigerated container for up to 5 days or stored in a freezer – it defrosts really well and doesn’t lose its flavour.

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Serves 2 people

Preparation time 10 minutes, cooking time 35-40 minutes

Ingredients and method

For the curry paste:

1 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Handful peanuts
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp turmeric
2 white onions – peeled
Thumb of root ginger – peeled, roughly chop
2 stalks lemon grass – discard outer husks, thinly slice
6 cloves garlic – peel
2 large red chillies
1 tsp shrimp paste
1 dessert spoon brown sugar
1 Tbsp. Ketchup manis
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Method: Use a min blender to blitz into a smooth paste. Chopping the tough ingredients before blending helps make a smooth paste. Only use half for this recipe, the remainder can be frozen or stored in the fridge (see notes above).

For the main dish

1/2 the curry paste

1-2 tbsp. vegetable oil

350g raw king prawns – peel, devein, butterfly

2 portions of potatoes – cut into 3-4cm cubes

350ml fish stock

500ml coconut milk

2 tsp dried coriander leaf

Method: start by par boiling the potatoes in boiling water for 6-7 minutes, rinse and drain then set aside. Heat 1-2 tbsp. of oil in a wok or deep frying pan then fry the paste for 4-5 minutes, add a little fish stock if it begins to catch on the pan. Add the potatoes, dried coriander, 300ml fish stock and the coconut milk, stir well. Heat until sauce starts to bubble then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the sauce has reduced too much then add a little extra fish stock to loosen the sauce. After this add the prawns and poach them in the sauce until they turn from grey to pink. Heat sauce until it starts to bubble again then serve.

 

 

Thai Pork Schnitzel with red curry sauce

A breaded pork schnitzel fried in lemongrass flavoured oil, served on a bed of jasmine rice and covered in a red curry sauce.

Delicious crispy on the outside and juicy inside pork goes so well with a flavoursome red curry sauce. The curry sauce is a well balanced mixture of 22 ingredients!

A fusion of Austrian and Thai cuisine. My photos really don’t do this fantastic dish any justice – it was truly delicious. Please give it a try and you will see!

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Serves two people

preparation time 20 minutes, cooking 20 minutes

 

Ingredients

approx 390g Pork fillet – see instructions below

2 portions of rice – I used Jasmin but basmati or long grain also works

2 lime wedges – to serve

1 egg – lightly beaten in a bowl

flour – in a bowl to coat pork

Panko breadcrumbs – in a bowl to coat pork

2-3 sticks lemon grass – bruise with rolling pin

vegetable oil to shallow fry – 3-4cm depth in frying pan

Salt and pepper – to lightly season flour

For the pork – Cut in half, fold each half in parchment paper then using a rolling pin beat the pork fillet until it is flat and tender, so it is around 2cm thick. Give it a good beating as this will also tenderise the meat. Once flat coat each piece in flour, then dip in the egg then into the breadcrumbs making sue all sides are coated in breadcrumbs. Then dip back into the egg then back into the breadcrumbs, double dipping helps ensure a nice coating. Cover and set aside ready for cooking.

For the curry sauce:

100ml coconut cream – do not add this to the paste

2 sticks lemon grass – bruise, inner part only

Thumb ginger – peel, chop to make forming paste easier

Bulb garlic

3 large red chillies

1 medium red onion

3 Tbsp cashew nuts

3 lime leafs

1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp paprika

3 green cardamom pods

4 cloves

1 tsp crushed chillies

2 dessert spoon brown sugar

1 desert chilli paste

3 dessert spoons desiccated coconut

2 Tbsp fish sauce

1 tsp shrimp paste

4 black peppercorns

3 dessert spoons vegetable oil

Method: Use a mini blender (or mortar and pestle) to form a smooth curry paste from the ingredients – do not add the coconut cream to the paste.

 

Cooking instructions

  1.  Start by making the curry sauce as this can be heat through just before serving. In a wok  and fry the curry paste over a high heat for 7-8 minutes, until it is aromatic and moves round an as a single mass. Many Thai chefs will fry the curry paste until it starts to split from the oil.
  2. Add the coconut cream, saving a small amount to drizzle over the final dish. Stir well then remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Cook rice as per packet instructions.
  4. Heat oil (approx 3cm deep) in a large flat frying pan. Place the lemon grass sticks in the oil as it heats so it flavours the oil. Heat over a high heat until the oil is sizzling hot and keep hob on high throughout the cooking.
  5. Add the pork schnitzle to the oil (lay it away from you to avoid oil splashes) and fry on each side for approx 3 minutes until the panko is golden brown and crispy. Remove the pork from the oil and drain on absorbent paper.
  6. Heat the curry sauce through. Place a bed of rice on the plate, the schnitzle on top then pour some sauce over the top. Serve with a wedge of lime and enjoy!