Sunday, 23 February 2014

Sweet chilli prawn and vermicelli lettuce cups

While dill is a fantastic seafood partner, my personal preference would be mint. It is refreshing, light and perfect for those hot summer days.

My grandma's chinese lettuce cups (San Choy Bow) holds a dear place in my heart, and while I contemplated on reviving it, I couldn't resist folding in to my Vietnamese food phase. I was inspired by the fresh vermicelli salads that are served in Richmond, a suburb away from me. It was therefore no surprise to my friends that I have chosen to make the prawn vermicelli lettuce cups as the main for our picnic series!

The result was an aromatic flavour of mint, coriander and a kick of chilli. Overall, it is a dish which allows friends to experiment, make their own flavours and enjoy each other's company in a relaxed setting.

Items you need:

- 1 packet of glass noodles (normally they are separated in to three bunches you will only need one)
- 1 Tablespoon of fish sauce
- 2 Tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce
- 1/2 a fresh lime, squeezed
- 1 cup of crushed peanuts (to garnish)
- 2 sprigs of coriander
- 2 sprigs of mint
- 1/2 a dozen of cooked prawns (shell off) and diced
- 1/2 lettuce washed and peeled

What's Next?

1. Place the glass noodles in a heat proof bowl and pour boiling water over it. Ensure that the water covers the top of the noodles. Place a lid on top of the bowl and let it soak for 1-2 minutes. Check intermittently to ensure the noodles are not over cooked or soggy. When ready, strain and place in to a mixing bowl

2. Combine the fish sauce and sweet chilli in a bowl with the lime juice. Stir and taste to see if it needs more lime or sweet chilli, then set aside 

3. Chop the coriander and place it in to the bowl of glass noodles. Add the fish sauce dressing, chopped prawns and mix well.

4. Spoon the mixture in to lettuce cups topped with crushed peanuts and add the mint. Alternatively, place the sprigs in the jar with coriander to allow friends to create their own flavours. Other herbs like Thai basil can be used and is a great alternative to those who do not like mint. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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