Like many of their Asian neighbours, the Thais have a five-flavour system: sweet, sour, bitter (chilli), hot and salty. Hot and sour are thus among the flavours one finds recurring in Thai cuisine. Perhaps it is because of the tropically humid climate that the touch of sourness is a welcome refreshing counterpoint to the ‘hot’ and the bitter, especially of chillies. In any event, the combination is delectable, as in this recipe.
This easy dish can be on the table in less than 30 minutes. Serve it with rice and a salad.
Peel the prawns and discard the shells. Using a small sharp knife, remove the fine digestive cord. Wash the prawns in cold water with
Combine the curry paste, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, chillies and coconut milk in a wok or large pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Then add the prawns and cook for another 2–3 minutes. Finally, add the basil leaves and serve at once.
© 2001 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.