A Chinese classic, you say? Well, yes and no. This is certainly a dish introduced by southern Chinese immigrants into Thailand. But, like other Chinese originals, this one too has been transformed by local spices and flavourings into a Thai speciality.
Peel the prawns and discard the shells. Using a small sharp knife, remove the fine digestive cord. Wash the prawns in cold water with
Peel the cucumber, slice in half lengthways and, using a teaspoon, remove the seeds. Then cut the cucumber halves into
Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat until it is hot. Add the oil, and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the garlic and sliced onion and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the cucumber and pepper and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Now add the prawns, fish sauce, light soy sauce, rice wine, tomato paste, lime juice and sugar, and then slowly drizzle in the cornflour mixture. Cook for 2 minutes. Turn onto a platter, garnish with the coriander leaves and serve immediately.
© 2001 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.