Tag Archives: prawns

Prawn, Lime and Coriander Jambalaya

Super, super quick and easy recipe tonight (it’s Monday – we’re tired, you’re tired and will probably be wanting quick mid-week meals!). Remember this jambalaya recipe that we posted a while back? With a few simple adaptations you can make this lighter and fresher, perfect for if this weather ever warms up properly!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 green/red chilli, de-seeded and chopped
  • 340g can chopped tomatoes
  • 330ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 135g long grain rice
  • 1 lime
  • Raw king prawns, about 4-6 each depending on size
  • A generous handful of chopped fresh coriander

Start by cooking the onion in the oil in a wide pan for a few minutes before adding the garlic, red pepper and chilli and cooking for a further minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, chicken stock, rice and tomato purée along with the juice of half the lime. Stir, cover and cook for around 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked. You might need to add a little more stock, and remember to stir every few minutes or you’ll end up with everything stuck and it’ll be a nightmare! Once the rice is cooked take the pan off the heat, season with salt and pepper, and stir in half the coriander. Place the prawns on top and then pop the lid back on just for a minute or two until the prawns are pink. Serve with the rest of the coriander scattered on top and a quarter of lime each – we both love lime so probably use the lot!

Prawn Lime Chilli Jambalaya

 

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Prawn and Pea Spaghetti with Lemon and Fennel

Another one-pan quickie here, definitely with a spring influence – we went out and saw crocuses (crocuses? Croci? Apparently both are correct) and snowdrops in the sunshine today… blame that! Technically you do use two pans as you use one to toast the fennel seeds but this isn’t essential and they don’t exactly make much of a mess. So if, like us, you are ready for a little spring on your plate then give this one a try.

Fennel seeds toasting

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, lightly toasted and crushed
  • Pasta of your choice
  • Raw king prawns, about 6-8
  • 1 large handful of frozen peas
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • A handful of parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp creme fraiche
  • Salt & pepper

Lemon zest and parsley

Pop some water on to boil and when it’s boiling salt the water and drop the pasta in (pretty sure you don’t need telling how to cook pasta). When the pasta is a couple of minutes away from cooked add the peas to the pan. Once the pasta is cooked reserve about 1/2 a mug of the pasta water and then drain. Put the pan back over a low heat, add the fennel seeds, lemon zest, parsley, prawns and creme fraiche to the pan and stir over the low heat until the prawns are cooked. While doing this add in a little of the pasta water you saved as you need it until it looks like a perfect, creamy consistency. Season to taste and serve!

Pasta with raw prawns

Finished pea and prawn pasta

King Prawn Stir-Fry with Tamarind and Oyster Sauce

We make stir-fries all the time – remember our steak with stir-fried veg? They’re really easy to throw together, quick (this one takes less than 20 minutes altogether!) and healthy too. If you’ve got a few store-cupboard essentials you don’t even need to buy any sauce, and it’s a great recipe for using up any left-over veg. Our tamarind and oyster sauce is really tasty, and would be a great one to show off to guests who like their stir-fries.

To make the sauce for 2 people:

  • Chunk of tamarind (see pic for size! About 3cm by 5cm), soaked in hot water and strained
  • 1 tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Groundnut oil
  • 1/2 fresh red chilli, finely sliced
  • Thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp caster sugar

And to make the rest of the stir-fry, throw together whatever veg you have lying around with some noodles! Here’s what we used:

  • 1 Courgette
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Pak Choi
  • Handful of Cabbage
  • 50g Mange Tout/Sugar Snap Peas
  • 10 King Size Prawns
  • 2 portions straight-to-wok noodles
This what raw tamarind looks like! You need a medium-sized chunk, it packs in loads of flavour.
This what raw tamarind looks like! You need a medium-sized chunk, it packs in loads of flavour.

Start by making the sauce. You’ll need to soak the tamarind for about half an hour in a bowl with boiling water, and then strain it through a sieve – make sure you manage to squeeze all of the flavour out of it. Mix together all the ingredients and give it a good stir. Depending on how you like your stir-fries, you could use more or less chilli – these proportions make a sauce that has a medium heat when using relatively firey chillies. A bit of a tip for ginger too – we keep loads frozen in the freezer in small chunks – it grates really well from frozen, and the flavour really comes through.

Raid the store cupboard for this sauce!
Raid the store cupboard for this sauce!

Once the sauce is made, slice up all the vegetables. How you slice depends on what veg you’re using, but as a general rule make sure that everything is sliced really thinly – especially hard vegetables like carrots – so that it cooks quickly and retains its crunch. No-one wants a soggy stir-fry! Add you veg to a wok with a splash of vegetable oil (or any other flavourless oil) and cook over a high heat, stirring regularly. Once the veg is close to cooked (this shouldn’t take longer than about 5 minutes) add the sauce, stir in and cook for a further couple of minutes. Add the noodles, stir in again, then finally add the King Prawns and cook for another couple of minutes until they’re just pink – that’s it, you’re done!

Veg being Stir-Fried

You could try this sauce with different meats – it would be pretty good with chicken or turkey – and it would work with loads of different veg too. It’s a perfect go-to meal if you’ve had a long day at work, and is guaranteed to perk you up.

Stir-Fry in a Bowl

Pea and King Prawn Risotto

We know that it’s almost the middle of December and it’s pretty chilly around here. And we know that this is much more of a summer dish, but risotto is pretty comforting all year round and sometimes you don’t feel like a heavy dinner. Pea and prawns is a classic combination – we kept this light, it has no cheese in it and the peas and prawns are only added at the end so the risotto is subtly flavoured with white wine and lemon zest and then the burst of freshness comes from the chopped herbs at the end. You could stir in some crème fraiche or soft cheese at the end to add extra richness but we found that ours was creamy anyway just from the starchyness of the rice.

If you manage to serve this with a little more delicacy than we did then this could make a very elegant course for a dinner party. This recipe would make plenty for 4-6 people as a starter but like the pigs we are we ate the lot!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion or 2 shallots, very finely chopped
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 200g Arborio rice (or other risotto rice)
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • About 1.5l of weak chicken stock (we used 1 stock cube in total)
  • 3-4 pieces of lemon zest
  • Frozen peas, as many as you like – we used about 200-300g
  • Raw king prawns, either frozen and defrosted or fresh
  • Mixed soft herbs, we used mostly parsley with a little mint and dill, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to season

Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan/skillet. Add the finely chopped onion/shallot and the dried thyme and cook over a very low heat for around 10 minutes until completely translucent but not coloured. You’ll need to keep a fairly close eye on these and stir them regularly as you don’t want them to stick or colour. Stir in the rice after this time and cook in the butter for a minute or so, then pour in the white wine and add the lemon zest. Season lightly at this stage.

_MG_3953

Keep stirring until all of the wine has been absorbed and then start adding the stock, ladle by lade, stirring regularly and not adding the next ladle until the previous has been completely absorbed. This process will take about 30-40 minutes until the rice is cooked so after about 20 minutes tip the frozen peas into a bowl and cover with boiling water to defrost. Let them stand for a minute or so and then drain and add to the risotto.

_MG_3962

Taste the rice to check it is cooked but still with some bite and when you’re happy with it add the prawns, these should take around 2 minutes to turn beautifully pink, you don’t want to overcook them! When they’re ready stir in most of the chopped herbs and adjust the seasoning. Serve up and sprinkle with the remaining herbs and salad if you wish.

_MG_3965

Enjoy! We love making risotto, some people find it a faff but we find it very relaxing just taking the time and care over it, and you’re rewarded with such a lovely meal!

Green Thai Curry

This is a really quick and easy recipe for one of our favourite meals, green Thai curry. I hesitate to call it Thai green curry, because it isn’t really – but it has amazing fresh flavours that really evoke memories of south east Asia (for me, Fats – I promise to take Bird there one day!). We think we might have stolen this from Jamie Oliver – I’m sure he’ll let us know if he wants to claim credit!

Here’s what you’ll need for 2 people:

  • About 10 good-sized raw king prawns
  • A medium-sized bunch of coriander
  • 2-3 spring onions
  • 1 green chilli
  • Thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil (or other flavourless oil)
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tbsp fish sauce (or to taste)
  • Tiny drizzle of sesame oil (this stuff is strong!)
  • 2/3 tin low-fat coconut milk
  • 50 g fine beans
  • 150 g white rice

Green Thai Curry Ingredients

Before you start, put a pan of water on to boil for the rice. Now make the curry paste. To do this, throw together (take a deep breath…) most of the coriander (leave back enough to garnish the finished article), the spring onions, the chilli, the ginger (peeled), the garlic, the juice of half the lime, the vegetable oil, the soy sauce, fish sauce and the sesame oil (phewf!) in a blender – we use a small hand blender. Whizz until you have a nice green paste, don’t worry about it being too smooth.

Green Thai Curry Paste

Green Thai Curry Wok

When your rice water is boiling, add the rice. Now put a wok on a medium heat and then add the mixture. Cook for about 20 seconds to loosen it up, and then add the coconut milk – you don’t want to cook the paste too much as it will lose its lovely green colour. Add the beans and then cover to keep the moisture in. This should take about 10 minutes to cook, so it should be ready at the same time as the rice. About a minute before its ready, add the prawns to cook – they should be just ready after a minute of cooking – pink all the way through – and will be deliciously tender.

Green Thai Curry Nearly Ready

When everything is ready serve it up by carefully sculpting a mound of rice, nestling some curry on it and delicately placing some choice coriander leaves on top… Or just slap it on a plate, it will taste just as good! Serve with a lime wedge each for a little added zing.

Green Thai Curry Done

This recipe is also excellent with salmon – if you want to be really fancy, fry it for a couple of minutes skin-side down before adding it to the wok with the curry to get a satisfyingly crispy texture.

Noodle Soup with Prawns

This is another of our great week-night meals – quick, easy and fresh. It’s so simple and tastes amazing. Asian food can be quite intimidating at first glance, especially as there are so many flavours – but most of the ingredients for this noodle soup are store-cupboard staples in our house (so you only have to hunt them down once every few months!) and only the fresh ingredients need to be bought when you cook it. The stand-out flavours here are chilli, ginger, lime, lemongrass, soy sauce and fish sauce. If you have never tried fish sauce – don’t knock it! It’s used in place of salt in Asian cuisine and gives soups a really rich flavour. Just don’t use too much.

So, for 2 people you’ll need:

  • A thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 chilli
  • 1 stick of lemongrass
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • A couple of limes
  • Fish sauce (to taste)
  • Dark soy sauce (to taste)
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • 2 nests dried egg noodles
  • 10 prawns (we keep them in our freezer, very handy but defrost them first)
  • 100 g mange tout
  • 2 pak choi

Noodle Soup Ingredients

First, put the chicken stock in a decent sized pan (it shouldn’t fill it up – you’ll be packing it with veg in a minute) on a medium heat. While this comes to the boil finely chop your ginger, chilli and garlic and the white bits of the spring onions, bash up the lemongrass a bit with the butt of a knife, then throw them, along with the sugar, in with the stock. Leave this to simmer for about 10 minutes, to let the flavours infuse – slice up your pak choi and the rest of the spring onions while you’re waiting.

Those slices of ginger will be amazing pops of flavour, so don't chop too finely!
Those slices of ginger will be amazing pops of flavour, so don’t chop too finely!
Our chopping board doesn't get much healthier
Our chopping board doesn’t get much healthier

Put the noodles in with the stock, and after a couple of minutes add all your green veg. Don’t leave to cook for too long – you want nice crunchy veg! Add the juice of 1 lime, and fish sauce and soy sauce to taste – we suggest a teaspoon of each to get you started. Lastly add the prawns. Don’t cook these for too long either! There’s nothing worse (literally, nothing) than overcooked prawns. To get them nice and tender they shouldn’t need more than about a minute in the boiling soup.

Noodle Soup Done

Once everything is done, serve it with the a slice of lime each and the fish and soy sauce on the table, so you can adjust the seasoning to be perfect for you.

Chopsticks and fancy spoon optional, but they make it an occasion!
Chopsticks and fancy spoon optional, but they make it an occasion!

We cook this all the time, and often change around the ingredients – we’ve done it with chicken, salmon (fried so that it has lovely crispy skin) or tofu instead of prawns, and you can also swap out the veg and use any other Chinese leaf, babycorn, mushrooms – we try to use one crunchy vegetable and one leafy one to give a mix of textures and flavours. Use your imagination, and let us know how it turns out!