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assam prawns


Serves 4

Cook them on a barbecue instead of in a pan, if you wish. If you cannot find kecap manis, add a teaspoon of sugar to 1½ tablespoons of dark soy sauce.

For the prawns

3 tbsp kecap manis (Asian shops or

2cm piece of ginger, grated

8 raw jumbo prawns, shell on

1 tbsp groundnut oil, for frying

For the okra salad

2 tbsp groundnut oil

400g okra, sliced lengthways

1 tbsp tamarind paste (optional)

4 tomatoes, sliced very thinly

1 red or pink onion, sliced very thinly

the juice of 2 limes

a small handful of coriander leaves, chopped

Mix the kecap manis and the ginger in a shallow dish and roll the prawns around in it. Leave to marinate in the fridge for an hour or more.

To make the okra salad, heat the groundnut oil in a pan over a high heat and fry the okra until crisp. Transfer to a serving bowl and add the tamarind paste (if using), tomatoes, onion, lime juice, coriander, salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside.

Fry or grill the prawns in the tablespoon of groundnut oil on both sides until the marinade has evaporated and the shells are pink and charred. Serve each person with two prawns on top of some okra salad, with a lime wedge alongside.

Hamish Anderson’s wine choice 2007 Extra Special Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills, South Australia £6.78, Asda. This dish is not strongly spiced, so you can try a grape such as chardonnay, not usually a bedfellow of spicy food. This reminds me of a turbo-charged Chablis; its rich, mineral elements make a great match for meaty prawns.

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