3 cloves garlic
1 coriander root*
2 tsp black peppercorns
1½ tbsp fish sauce
16 raw large prawns, peeled and deveined
150g (5 oz) fresh fine Chinese egg noodles*
vegetable oil for deep frying
Chilli coriander dipping sauce:
1 cup sugar
½ cup white vinegar
1/3 cup water
3 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Pop the garlic, coriander root, peppercorns into a mortar and give them a good bang with your pestle until you’ve got a rough paste (you could also do this in a small handheld blender but you may need to add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the bowl to get it moving).
Scrape paste into a bowl and add fish sauce and prawns. Mix well. Take 6 strands of egg noodles and wrap around the prawns. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
Get your sauce done in the meantime – simmer sugar, vinegar and water until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool, then add fish sauce, coriander and chilli.
When ready to serve, heat oil in a wok or heavy-based saucepan. Test the oil temperature with a piece of noodle: it should turn crisp and golden in about 1 minute. Cook the prawns in batches for 2-3 minutes until the noodles are crisp and the prawns are pink.
Drain on kitchen paper. Serve hot with the dipping sauce.
– Coriander roots are simply the actual roots of fresh coriander. Simply chop them off the bottom of your bunch of coriander (lave about 4cm of stem) and give them a good wash under running water.
– Fresh egg noodles are the easiest to wrap around the prawns. You’ll find them in the fridge section of an Asian grocery store.