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Spicy Prawn Salad

Summer is well and truly here – evidenced by the 30 plus temperatures which are predicted in Melbourne for the rest of week. This leads me to the following conclusions:

  • I am grossly underprepared for 10 days of  parading around in shorts and swimmers while on the Sunshine Coast for 10 days over Christmas;
  • If I am going to be ‘beach ready’ by 24 December, The Brooding Architect and I may be forced to live on (fancy) salads for the next few weeks; and
  • If I am realistic,  I should probably ‘invest’ in a few more beach wraps and kaftans now, given that I will inevitably gorge myself on far too much Christmas party finger food in the coming weeks.

While I am still in my state of denial, feel free to join me in my summer salad crusade.  This is my recipe for another very simple, Spicy Prawn Salad. If, for some crazy reason you don’t like prawns (or as my friend The Frustrated Public Servant calls them, “critters”), feel free to replace the prawns with some grilled chicken.

Spicy Prawn Salad

Spicy Prawn Salad

(Serves 2 – 3)



  • 400 grams prawns, peeled and de-veined, leaving the tails on (as I am lazy, I bought my prawns pre-prepared from Prosser Seafood, found at Shop 31, Queen Victoria Market)
  • Rind of 1 Lime, finely grated
  • 1-2 hot red chillies, finely chopped (remove seeds if you don’t like things too spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 100g vermicelli (glass noodles), softened according to packet instructions and well-drained
  • Large handful bean sprouts
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber
  • 1 baby cos lettuce
  • 1 cup of mixed Asian herbs (e.g. coriander, mint, Thai Basil or Vietnamese Mint)


  • Juice of 2 limes
  • small knob of ginger (about 2cm in size), finely grated
  • 1 hot red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of sesame oil



  1. Place the prawns, lime rind, chopped chillies and sesame oil in a separate bowl. Cover with glad-wrap and return to the fridge to marinate while preparing the balance of the salad and dressing.
  2. Chop the ends of the Lebanese cucumbers and cut in half length-ways. Scoop out the seeds with a tablespoon. Slice the cucumbers thinly on an angle. Place cucumber slices in a large salad bowl.
  3. Slice the green shallots thinly on an angle, add to the salad bowl.
  4. Thoroughly wash and dry the Asian herbs and baby cos lettuce (I use a salad spinner – but drying with paper towel or a clean tea towel also works). Roughly chop the herbs and baby cos lettuce, place in the salad bowl.
  5. Place the softened vermicelli noodles and bean sprouts in the salad bowl.  At this point, cover salad bowl with glad-wrap and place in the fridge.
  6. In a clean bowl mix together all of the dressing ingredients – lime juice, grated ginger, copped chillies, fish sauce, brown sugar and sesame oil. Stir until well combined and put aside.
  7. Heat a fry pan (or your BBQ) over ‘high heat’. Once the pan is hot add a glug of oil and cook the prawns until they have changed colour and become opaque. This should only take 1-2 minutes per side.
  8. Once cooked, remove the prawns from the heat, toss through the salad with the dressing. Serve immediately. Limit yourself to a glass sparkling mineral water since we are being virtuous.

2 Comments on “Spicy Prawn Salad”

  1. The Frustrated Public Servant (but not for much longer) said at 8:46 pm on November 24, 2010:

    I am recruited for your summer salad crusade!

  2. The Hungry Lawyer said at 7:36 am on November 25, 2010:

    Wonderful. Congratulations on the new job too! A celebratory cake date is in order!

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