Garlic prawns in hot sauce

Step-by-step Thai cooking, 64pp.
by Jacki Passmore
Murdoch Books, Sydney, 1991
Cooking on page 32

Our recent road trip to Perth was a great fact-finding mission for cooking on page 32.

One early stop was to visit Jan and Russ in Warrnambool, where I promptly ransacked her cookbooks. I didn’t steal any, just borrowed the contents of promising page 32s, like this one.

Page 32 doesn’t get much better than this.

Garlic prawns in hot sauce

1 kg green prawns
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 teaspoons shredded ginger
1 fresh red chilli, seeded and slice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
60 g sliced bamboo shoots
2 tablespoons Thai sweet chilli sauce
2 tablespoon fish sauce
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon cornflour
small bunch sweet basil

Peel the prawns, leaving the tails and last section of the shell in place. Cut deeply down centre back and remove the dark vein. Press prawns out flat.

Peel the onion and slice thinly from top to bottom to give short curved slices.

Stir-fry the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli in the oil until softened. Add the prawns and stir-fry until they change colour and begin to curl up. Add bamboo shoots and heat through.

Mix sweet chilli sauce, fish sauce, water and cornflour together, pour into pan and stir until thickened.

Pick leaves from basil and stir into the dish.

To shred ginger, peel and slice very thinly. Stack three or four slices together and cut into very fine shreds.

How it played out
I cheated—just a bit—and bought 750 grams of green prawns that were already shelled and deveined. Big time saver. I also got Poor John to finely mince the ginger using a mezzaluna (a curved double-handled knife often used as a chopper for herbs and the like).

Added two small Thai chillies, and the heat was perfect. Was out of basil, so used coriander (cilantro) instead. That worked especially well because I served the prawns with a cilantro lime rice.

The whole thing was ready in minutes and demolished just about as quickly.

Pick me up off the floor and shake me back to my senses. This dish is a knockout. Try it! Thanks Jan!


About leggypeggy

Intrepid overland traveller, keen photographer, avid cook—known to jump out of airplanes and do other silly things. Do not act my age.
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12 Responses to Garlic prawns in hot sauce

  1. Gary Walker says:

    Lovely dish. Prawns are my favorite protein. Good call using coriander instead of basil. Coriander is my favorite herb particularly when coupled with ginger.

    This is my favorite recipe from page 32 to date. I can smell and taste it in my mind.

  2. skippersy says:

    I made this dish and it was very good, 5 stars! I do not like sweet sauces and hate the Thai Fish Sauce (even though I love salty items). So I substituted one anchovy for the fish sauce. I also, realized I did not have cilantro leaves, so had some Arugula and used that. And added some garlic chili sauce. I love shrimp and this was a nice Thai dish…. along with the bamboo shoots.
    Aside- I go out of my way to find small tins of bits and pieces of bamboo shoots, instead of opening up a big tin.

    Sy S.

    • leggypeggy says:

      Hi Sy
      I’m so glad you liked this dish. Anchovy and arugula sound like perfect substitutions, and I would use both if that was what I had on hand (although I secretly love fish sauce and always have a huge supply).
      I love arugula (or rocket as we call it in Australia) too, and usually have some in the fridge. Like you, I’m not keen on sweet sauces and I usually buy small tins of bamboo shoots. I like your idea to add garlic chilli sauce.
      Someday I’ll track you down in New York and we’ll cook something together.

  3. skippersy says:

    So you want to “Track Me Down” and we can cook together, perhaps some day. However, I have the feeling that you also want to see my cookbooks and what is cooking on page 32 in many of them.
    Aside- perhaps some of the bloggers on this site can send you a recipe or two and from Page 32 of their cook books… for your review and approval. And perhaps a few photos…. just a thought!
    I am off to check out a few of my cookbooks and maybe if I am lucky a Page 32 might have a chicken feet recipe… LOL.

    Sy S.

    • leggypeggy says:

      Sy, you are a mind-reader. For quite some time, I’ve been meaning to announce just such an approach.

      Bottom-line is that I’d love to hear about everyone’s page-32 recipes. I can’t possibly be everywhere or own every cookbook. So it would be great to have other people contribute.

      I think JustJanS plans to submit her page-32 recipe for macaroons. And tell us how she made them come out right by changing recipe (the first page-32-recipe was lacking, so she searched for another).

      Would love to have more contributions, so I look forward to hearing about any page-32 recipes you want to share. Ideally, I’d like to have the cookbook details, a pic of the cookbook cover, a pic of the completed recipe, the recipe ingredients and method, how it played out and the verdict.

      So all I can say is — get to work! 🙂

  4. skippersy says:

    After my post, I searched through my cookbooks and most of them for page 32 had ingredients descriptions (or techniques for making designs with food, Chinese style, like carving carrots). And one Chinese cookbook had Chicken Skins and with Cucumbers (not exactly a recipe people would try). However, one cookbook I own “The Jewish-American Kitchen” starting on page 32 “Knishes”… with two recipes for Potato Dough Knishes and Pastry Dough Knishes and either one filled with Kasha or Potato. Most often Knishes are not make with dough, but just fried. I will get to making one of the recipes in the near future… and submit it along with photos via e-mail.

    Sy S.

    • leggypeggy says:

      Would be fantastic to share a Knishes recipe here. I’ll try to wait patiently.

      Plus, I see you’ve encountered the issue I raised when I first started this blog — that page 32–33 might be general info or photos. That’s why I sometimes jump to pages 132, 232 or even 64, which is 32 x 2. On very short cookbooks, I have used page 16.

  5. Pingback: Cienfuegos and the one-night stand | Where to next?

  6. Are you willing to let a stranger into the 32-page club?

  7. Pingback: Garlic Prawns in Hot Sauce – April's On-line Cookbook

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