Recipe by Kookaburra
This recipe comes from a Thai Cooking course I did. It's fabulous! The dressing is hot, but not 'blow the top off your head' hot. Don't be afraid of the green pawpaw - it doesn't actually taste of much, but adds a great texture and takes up the flavour of the dressing. Use a perfectly green pawpaw - as ripe pawpaw flesh will tend to disintegrate in the dressing. The sauce can also be used to serve with spring rolls or coconut prawns.
- 250 g green prawns, peeled and deveined
- 250 g squid, tubes split, and scraped inside
- 1 small green pawpaw, peeled, deseeded and grated (you need 1 cup of grated pawpaw, I grate mine in the food processor)
- 6 shallots, finely sliced (use golden or red shallots)
- 1 tablespoon lemongrass, crushed and white part finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon kaffir lime leaf, fresh, centre veins removed, rolled, then very finely sliced
- 1⁄4 cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped (cilantro)
- 1⁄4 cup mint, leaves only, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 1⁄4 cup salad dressing (see recipe for Hot and Sour Dressing below)
- 2 tablespoons peanuts, roasted in a dry pan then crushed
- 2 tablespoons crispy shallots (buy these in a jar from an Asian food store)
Hot and Sour Dressing
- 3 small red chilies, deseeded (use 4 if you want it hotter)
- 8 garlic cloves, chopped finely
- 8 tablespoons lime juice, fresh
- 4 teaspoons palm sugar (or to taste)
- 3 -4 tablespoons fish sauce (to taste, you want a balance of hot, sour, sweet and salty so adjust ingredients as required)
Directions See How It's Made
- First prepare all the ingredients as described above - keep any ends and trimmings of garlic, shallots, coriander root, lemon grass, mint and coriander stalks, and odd bits of lemon grass and a couple of spare kaffir lime leaves aside to flavour the water you're going to cook the seafood in.
- Next, make the dressing as it has to sit for at least 15 minutes for the flavours to merge.
- To make dressing, mix together all ingredients and taste to ensure there is a good balance of hot, sour, sweet and salty - adjust ingredients as necessary.
- Now prepare to cook the seafood.
- Using a very sharp knife, score the inside of the squid tubes diagonally, then score in the opposite direction (to form a diamond pattern).
- Cut the squid into rough triangle shapes - about 4 per tube.
- Prepare a medium bowl of ice cold water, with ice cubes in it, and sit it by the stove.
- Fill a large pot with water and add ends and trimmings as described above and a couple of tablespoons of salt.
- Bring water to a rolling boil then add the seafood in small batches, cooking prawns for about a minute, and squid for about 30 seconds. (The seafood can be a bit hard to find in the water, so just add a little at a time, and you'll have to 'fish' for it.)
- Remove seafood and immediately plunge into iced water. This cooking technique will make the squid so tender you won't believe it!
- When seafood is completely cold, prepare salad.
- In a large bowl toss together pawpaw, shallots, coriander, mint leaves, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, seafood and 1/4 cup of the hot and sour dressing (serve any remaining dressing on the side).
- To present salad, transfer to a plate, bring most of the seafood to the top and arrange decoratively, then sprinkle with crushed peanuts and crispy shallots.