The trick to a well-cooked prawn is not to overcook it. As soon as the prawn has changed colour and is curled up, it is ready. The flavour combo of coriander, garlic and fish sauce is very Thai – using all the coriander, from roots to crown. This could be used with whole fish or chicken drumsticks. Cutting deep slashes into the thicker parts of the fish or chicken drumstick will ensure more even cooking.
1 bunch coriander (cilantro)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon white peppercorns
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
16 raw large prawns (shrimp), peeled and deveined, leaving the tails intact
lime wedges, to serve
1 Cut about 3-4 cm (1 -1 in) from the root end of the coriander. Rinse the roots, then finely chop and put into a mortar. Roughly chop the coriander leaves and set aside.
2 Add the garlic and peppercorns to the coriander roots and, using a pestle, pound to a paste. Tip the paste into a bowl. Stir in the brown sugar and fish sauce. Add the prawns and toss to coat with the paste. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes or cover and refrigerate for 3-6 hours.
3 Remove the prawns from the fridge 30 minutes before you begin cooking. Heat the barbecue hotplate to high. Drizzle the vegetable oil over the hotplate to grease. Add the prawns and cook for 2 minutes each side, until pink, curled up and aromatic. Serve with the reserved chopped coriander leaves sprinkled over and the lime wedges on the side.
Recipes and images from King of the Grill by Ross Dobson (Murdoch Books) $39.99 available now.