It's blog party at Dispensing Happiness today... and the theme is "Tiki Party". For much that I tried, I could not find my Polynesian outfit, but the reality is that I am doing you a favour be remaining fully clothed, anyway. Christmas indulgence is to blame.
The theme Stephanie chose is perfect, as I've been wanting to reveal some more recipes of our finger food extravaganza anyway. This is another one inspired by "Asian Bites": grilled king prawns, shredded and seasoned Asian style (think fish sauce, brown sugar, lemongrass), a bit of a kick with some chopped chilli and spring onions, then served on a lettuce leaf which takes the edge off a bit.
Incredibly easy to make, incredibly forgiving as it will taste even better made a day ahead and just needs to be spooned onto some washed and dried gem lettuce leaves. Nothing easier than that!
For people who're unfamiliar with blog party, I was supposed to bring along a drink, too. May I suggest a wonderful tamarind margarita, as enjoyed recently at Wahaca, a restaurant in London which serves Mexican street food. Combine two units of Tequila with one unit each of triple sec, tamarind concentrate and lime juice, shake with ice cubes and pour into a tumbler with a salt rim. Heaven. So much so that the only picture I could muster was incredibly blurry (ah, yes, I'll admit I had more than one!!!) This cocktail will become a staple in my house, though, wo I shall add a photo as and when.
Happy Blog Party, everyone!
Asian-style prawn salad bites
20 big, juicy prawns (headless, skin on)
4 tbsp lime juice
4 tbsp orange juice
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp light muscovado sugar
4 lemongrass stalks
10 lemon myrtle leaves
10 curry leaves
6 cm fresh ginger root (peeled and finely shredded)
6 shallots (peeled and quartered)
1 red chilli (seeded and finely chopped)
5 spring onions (cut into thin rounds)
3 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
4 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
6 heads gem lettuce
Place the prawns on a baking tray and grill for 5 minutes, turning half-way through. (Leaving the skin on will make for a more intensive flavour, but don't worry if you can only get skinless ones.)
Leave to cool just until you can handle them, then peel. The hotter they are, the easier they will be to peel. Once peeled, chop roughly.
In a small pot on the stove, combine the lime and orange juice, fish sauce and sugar for the marinade. Warm gently until the sugar has dissolved, then cool.
Meanwhile, place the lemongrass, lemon myrtle and curry leaves in a food processor and finely chop. Pass through a sieve to remove any big, woody bits. Return the powder into the food processor, add the shallots and ginger and grind to a paste. Add the marinade and stir until thoroughly combined.
Now stir in the chillies. Add the marinade to the prawns, stir through and marinate for at least 15 minutes or overnight, if possible. Wash the lettuce leaves and dry them. Discard any that are too flat or short to serve as a scoop. Don't worry about them being different in size.
When ready to serve, stir the chopped herbs into the prawn salad, place a bite-sized amount on a lettuce leaf and arrange on serving trays.