Prawns with green nahm jim dressing and sour fruits

  • Preparation time: 35 minutes, plus soaking
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes
  • Total time: 45 minutes, plus soaking

Serves: 6 as a side


180g Waitrose raw jumbo king prawns
50ml soy sauce
about 300ml vegetable oil, for frying
6 garlic cloves
1 tbsp roughly chopped fresh root ginger
6 green Thai chillies, finely chopped (or 4 deseeded green chillies for less heat)
2 tbsp caster sugar
4 limes, juice
2 clementines or easy peelers, juice
4 tbsp fish sauce
2 granny smith apples, grated or julienned (cut into matchsticks)
8 physalis, leaves removed and halved
handful mint leaves, roughly torn
handful coriander leaves, roughly torn
handful dill, roughly torn


1. First, soak the prawns in the soy sauce for a few minutes to let the flavours get to know each other. Next, heat enough vegetable oil in a medium saucepan so that it comes 2-3cm up the sides. Heat to around 190˚C (use a sugar thermometer, or test with a small piece of bread; it should turn golden in 40 seconds). Fry the prawns in the hot oil, around 6 at a time, for 2-3 minutes, until they’re golden and crispy. Remove using a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat, to cook all the prawns, then allow to cool and set aside.

2. Using a pestle and mortar (or small food processor), pound the garlic, ginger and chillies (in that order) to a coarse paste, using a pinch of salt as an abrasive, if necessary. Next add the sugar and pound for a further few seconds to a relatively smooth paste (though don’t worry if it’s a little chunky). Finally, add the citrus juices and fish sauce. It should taste sweet, salty, sour and hot. An exact recipe is impossible, as ingredient strengths vary, so adjust the seasoning to taste.

3. Mix the dressing with the apple, physalis, mint, coriander and the prawns. Finish with a sprinkle of dill.