I have never encountered any lover of good food who would turn down a chance to start a meal with this irresistible prawn dish. It is quickly made and leaves a lasting impression – a perfect appetizer. The seasonings mark it as a Thai speciality and raise the prawns to an even higher level of ‘enjoyability’.
Once the sauce is made, the prawns cook quickly on the barbecue or under a grill. Don’t peel the prawns: their shells keep the meat moist under the heat.
Use dampened bamboo skewers: about eight, with three to five prawns on each.
Using a small sharp knife, cut through the shell of the prawns and remove the fine digestive cord. Wash the prawns in cold water, rinse well and pat them dry with kitchen paper. Soak the bamboo skewers in cold water for at least 15 minutes. Then skewer the prawns.
In a small pan, combine the water, lime juice and sugar Simmer until the sugar has melted. Remove and allow to cool thoroughly. Mix in the rest of the sauce ingredients and pour into a serving bowl.
Preheat the oven grill to high or make a charcoal fire in the barbecue.
When the oven grill is very hot or the charcoal is ash white, grill the prawns for 3 minutes on each side or until they are cooked. Put the cooked prawns on a warm platter and serve at once with the sauce.
© 2001 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.