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Thai Noodles With Cinnamon And Prawns

by . Featured in SIMPLY NIGELLA
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Introduction

I have been alive a long time and, at least when it comes to eating, have spent that time wisely and well. So it's not often that I eat something that tastes so different to anything I've come across before. But this is such a dish. A gorgeous and mesmerically talented chef called, so perfectly, Tum, cooked it when I was on holiday in Thailand a few years ago, and I made him cook it again and again, and then finally asked him if I could video his making it, so I could try and recreate it at home.

Apart from having to make geographically enforced changes, I have stuck to Tum's recipe, including the ready-ground pepper and chicken stock concentrate (actually, he used chicken powder). I just had to share this spectacularly unfamiliar but compelling recipe with you. I hope you will be as bowled over by it as I was.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

I have been alive a long time and, at least when it comes to eating, have spent that time wisely and well. So it's not often that I eat something that tastes so different to anything I've come across before. But this is such a dish. A gorgeous and mesmerically talented chef called, so perfectly, Tum, cooked it when I was on holiday in Thailand a few years ago, and I made him cook it again and again, and then finally asked him if I could video his making it, so I could try and recreate it at home.

Apart from having to make geographically enforced changes, I have stuck to Tum's recipe, including the ready-ground pepper and chicken stock concentrate (actually, he used chicken powder). I just had to share this spectacularly unfamiliar but compelling recipe with you. I hope you will be as bowled over by it as I was.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Thai Noodles with Cinnamon and Prawns
Photo by Keiko Oikawa

Ingredients

Serves: 2

Metric Cups
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 15 grams fresh root ginger (peeled and cut into fine matchsticks)
  • 1 star anise
  • ½ long or 1 short cinnamon stick (broken into shards)
  • 2 - 3 leafy stems at the top of a stick of celery (stems cut into short lengths, leaves roughly chopped)
  • 1½ x 15ml tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon oyster sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 100 millilitres cold water
  • 1 teaspoon chicken stock concentrate
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon ketjap manis (or 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce mixed with 1 tablespoon soft dark brown sugar)
  • 10 peeled raw king prawns (thawed if frozen)
  • 80 grams glass noodles or rice vermicelli (soaked and drained as per packet instructions)
  • 1 fat pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 fat pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 1 inch fresh gingerroot (peeled and cut into fine matchsticks)
  • 1 star anise
  • ½ long or 1 short cinnamon stick (broken into shards)
  • 2 - 3 leafy stems at the top of a stick of celery (stems cut into short lengths, leaves roughly chopped)
  • 1½ tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 7 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 teaspoon chicken broth concentrate
  • 1 tablespoon ketjap manis (or 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce mixed with 1 tablespoon soft dark brown sugar)
  • 10 peeled raw king shrimp (thawed if frozen)
  • 3 ounces glass noodles or rice vermicelli (soaked and drained as per packet instructions)
  • 1 fat pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 fat pinch of ground cloves

Method

  1. On a high heat, heat the oil in a large wok. Add the garlic, ginger, star anise, cinnamon and the sliced leafy stems of celery, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  2. Stir in both soy sauces and leave to simmer for 30 seconds, then stir in the oyster sauce and ground pepper.
  3. Add the water, followed by the chicken stock concentrate and the ketjap manis (or the mixture of dark soy sauce with soft brown sugar), stir until everything’s well combined and bring to the boil.
  4. Now add the king prawns, immersing them in the liquid. Simmer until the prawns are cooked through.
  5. Finally, add the drained noodles and stir well – I find a couple of pasta forks, one in each hand, best for this – so that everything is combined, and most of the dark liquid is absorbed. Add the pinches of ground cinnamon and cloves, stir again, and if you’re not serving straight from the wok, decant into a serving bowl, and sprinkle with the reserved chopped celery leaves.
  1. On a high heat, heat the oil in a large wok. Add the garlic, ginger, star anise, cinnamon and the sliced leafy stems of celery, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  2. Stir in both soy sauces and leave to simmer for 30 seconds, then stir in the oyster sauce and ground pepper.
  3. Add the water, followed by the chicken broth concentrate and the ketjap manis (or the mixture of dark soy sauce with soft brown sugar), stir until everything’s well combined and bring to the boil.
  4. Now add the king prawns, immersing them in the liquid. Simmer until the prawns are cooked through.
  5. Finally, add the drained noodles and stir well – I find a couple of pasta forks, one in each hand, best for this – so that everything is combined, and most of the dark liquid is absorbed. Add the pinches of ground cinnamon and cloves, stir again, and if you’re not serving straight from the wok, decant into a serving bowl, and sprinkle with the reserved chopped celery leaves.

Tell us what you think

What 1 Other has said

  • We tried this recipe this evening but substituted the prawns with salmon, no prawns in my freezer! It was really delicious, thanks!

    Posted by Mary123456 on 16th May 2020
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