Kick off seafood season by whipping up a chargrilled spicy prawn salad
When it comes to Brisbane’s culinary elite, Luke Nguyen is among the cream of the crop. Not only is he the proprietor of the popular eatery Fat Noodle and Sydney’s Red Lantern, he is also an accomplished television personality. As a regular presenter on SBS, Luke has been able to bring the tastes of Asia into our homes, and his latest show Luke Nguyen’s Street Food Asia is his best and most hunger-inducing show yet. Alongside the series itself, Luke has released a companion cookbook, chock-full of the tantalising flavours and heady aromas Luke discovers in his travels among Asia’s backstreets. If you love the varied tastes of Asian street food, then you’ll love this chargrilled spicy prawn salad – plucked directly from the pages of Luke’s latest culinary compendium.
500 g raw king prawns, peeled and deveined, heads and tails intact
1 tablespoon Thai roasted red chilli paste
1 handful coriander sprigs, torn
1 handful mint leaves
1 handful Thai basil leaves
4 makrut (kaffir lime) leaves, finely sliced
4 cm (1½ in) lemongrass stalk, white part only, very finely sliced
4 red Asian shallots, finely sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons Thai roasted red chilli paste
3–5 bird’s eye chillies, sliced
Put the prawns in a mixing bowl, add the chilli paste and stir to coat them well. Leave to marinate for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the dressing ingredients in a bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Heat a chargrill pan or barbecue chargrill to medium–high. Cook the prawns for 2–3 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through.
Add the chargrilled prawns to a mixing bowl with the coriander, mint, Thai basil, makrut leaves, lemongrass, shallots and dressing. Toss together well, transfer to a plate and serve.
This is an edited extract from Street Food Asia by Luke Nguyen published by Hardie Grant Books.
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