This is fast, simple, and comes with all those tangy tastes you love in Thai food. No time? Then use cooked prawns and add a little coconut milk to the dressing.
Devein the prawns by hooking a thin bamboo skewer through the spine and pulling out the black thread, but don’t peel them. Heat the coconut milk, salt and water in a pan until simmering. Add the prawns and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes until they change colour. Remove and cool, then peel, leaving the tail intact.
Trim the lemongrass and finely slice the white section only. Finely slice the chillies and shallots. Cut the kaffir lime leaves (if using) into thin ribbons.
Combine the lemongrass, chillies, shallots, lime leaves or zest, mint and coriander in a bowl. Add the prawns and toss gently. Add the lime juice, fish sauce and 2 tbsp of the coconut broth, and toss lightly. Serve at room temperature, scattered with crushed peanuts.
© 2002 Jill Dupleix. All rights reserved.