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Weekend recipe: Lindsey Bareham’s Ginger prawns with vietnamese noodle salad

© Lucinda Rogers


Here’s a dish to wake up your taste buds. Full of vim and vigour, crunch and slippery noodles, this salad is an unexpected mix of cucumber and fennel with a sharp, zingy dressing. A hint of sweetness comes from using Thai chilli sauce rather than raw chilli. It gives the pale green and white ingredients an injection of red chilli that won’t blow your head off. This herby Vietnamese-style salad is delicious on its own and could be served with any number of other things apart from prawns; try lime-seasoned strips of fried chicken or fish.

300g raw peeled prawns
2 garlic cloves
15g fresh root ginger
2 tablespoons groundnut oil
150g vermicelli bean thread
or rice noodles
150g cucumber
1 small fennel bulb, about 150g
10g coriander stalks and leaves
5g small mint leaves

For the dressing
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon Thai sweet chilli sauce

For the garnish
2 tablespoons roasted salted peanuts or cashews
1 tablespoon Thai sweet chilli sauce

Run a knife down the inside curl of the prawns and wipe away the black
veins. Peel and chop the garlic, and peel and grate the ginger. Crush the
ginger and garlic together to make a paste, then stir with 1 tablespoon
of the oil. Smear this over the prawns and set aside to marinate.

To make the salad, soak the noodles in cold water for 10 minutes until
soft enough to cut into manageable lengths (approximately 8cm). Drain,
cover with boiling water and leave for 15 minutes to soften.

Peel the cucumber, use a teaspoon to scrape out the seeds, then slice into
thin half-moons. Trim and halve the fennel lengthways. Slice thinly across
the halves. Chop the coriander. Drain the soft noodles.

For the dressing, peel, chop and crush the garlic to a paste. Mix with the
remaining dressing ingredients. Add the noodles and mix thoroughly, then
add the remaining salad ingredients and mint. Mix.

Place the nuts in a plastic bag, seal the end and bash with something
heavy to crumb.

To complete the dish, heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying
pan or wok and stir-fry the prawns, tossing until uniformly pink and just
cooked through. Give the salad a fi nal toss, pile into the middle of 4 plates
or bowls and top with the prawns. Scatter with the crushed nuts and a swirl
of chilli sauce.

Recipe taken from Dinner Tonight by Lindsey Bareham, available here

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