I made this easy, quick summer prawn salad last night for some lovely guests. The best thing about it is you can chop up all the veges, make the dressing, cook the noodles in advance of guests coming over – then all you need to do is quickly sautee the prawns and combine everything when you are ready to serve. For me, this is the best kind of dinner party food as I don’t like missing out on any chat that goes on on our sunny deck while I am in the kitchen!
You could substitute chicken or tofu for the prawns if you prefer.
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into matchsticks.
- Half a telegraph cucumber, de-seeded and chopped into matchsticks
- Generous handful (about half to 3/4 cup) of bean sprouts, chopped
- 1 spring onion finely sliced
- 1 baby cos lettuce, sliced into strips
- Bunch of mint leaves, torn
- Generous bunch of coriander leaves, torn
- 20 raw prawns, shelled with tails on
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Dash of olive oil for cooking
- 1/2 a lemon, juiced
- Juice of 2 limes
- 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sweet chilli sauce
- Dash (as in about a teaspoon) of fish sauce
- 1 cm piece of palm sugar grated (or substitute 2 teaspoons brown sugar as I did)
- 1/2 – 1 chilli (depending on spice preference), de-seeded and chopped finely
The preparation of this salad is a bit like making a Thai version of the Korean Bi Bim Bap (meaning “to mix”), just chop all the vegetables and arrange in the serving platter you want to serve the salad in. Bring some water to the boil, add the vermicilli noodles to a pot and cover in boiling water for 3 minutes, drain and refresh under cold water and leave sitting covered in the pot. Make the dressing by combining all of the dressing ingredients together, stir well and adjust vinegar/ sugar to your desired taste (I confess I didn’t actually get my measuring spoons out – so these are approximate measures and can be adjusted to taste).
When you are about ready to serve, put a dash of oil in a saucepan over a medium high heat, sautee the garlic for 30 seconds, then add the prawns and cook for a couple of minutes, turning to ensure even cooking. Once done, squeeze over the lemon half to give the prawns a fresh citrussy zest.
Add the prawns to the chopped veges, pour over the dressing and let your guests get in there with salad servers and claim the prawns!