Stir-fried Prawns & Cucumber in Tamarind Sauce
Tamarind is the fruit from the pods of a large tree native to northern Africa which has also been cultivated in Asia for thousands of years. The flesh and seeds are dried then reconstituted and strained to produce a deliciously fruity liquid which is used to add a sour note to many dishes.
1 telegraph cucumber
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1kg green prawns, peeled and deveined
½ cup coconut milk
⅓ cup tamarind liquid (see notes)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon grated palm sugar
2 small red chillies, seeded and finely sliced
Steamed jasmine rice, for serving
Peel and halve cucumber lengthwise, scrape out seeds and slice into crescents.
Heat a wok, add oil, then prawns and stir for 2 minutes or so, until they are just changing colour. Add coconut milk, cucumber, tamarind liquid, fish sauce, palm sugar and chilli and stir for another minute or 2, until prawns are just cooked through.
Serve with steamed rice.
Dried tamarind pulp is sold in blocks at Asian grocery stores. To make tamarind liquid, work 2 tablespoons of tamarind pulp into ½ cup of warm water then strain through a fine sieve, pressing down to remove as much tamarind as possible.
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