This dish has a fragrant, fresh combination of flavours, served with lots of rice to soak up the exotically flavoured tomato sauce.
Spiced tomato prawns with avocado and cucumber salsa with rice
Artwork by Victoria Topping (digital media)
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 birdseye red chilli, seeded and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon tomato paste (concentrated purée)
1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar
1 star anise
500 g (1 lb 2 oz/about 14) raw prawns (shrimp), peeled, deveined and tails left intact
3 tomatoes, diced
80 ml (21/2 fl oz/1/3 cup) fish sauce
3 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
1⁄4 cup chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves, or to taste
200 g (7 oz/1 cup) jasmine or basmati rice
Avocado and cucumber salsa
1 large avocado, peeled, stone removed and cut into cubes
1 Lebanese (short) cucumber, diced
1/3 cup chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon caster (superfine) sugar
1 To make the avocado and cucumber salsa, combine the avocado, cucumber and coriander in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the olive oil, lime juice and sugar; season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix well. Add the dressing to the avocado mixture and toss to coat.
2 Heat the grapeseed oil in a large wok or heavy-based frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for 1–2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, sugar, star anise and 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) water, and stir until sugar has dissolved.
3 Add the prawns and cook for a 1–2 minutes, then add the tomato, fish sauce, spring onion and another 1/4 cup) water and cook for a 3–4 minutes, or until the prawns are just cooked; season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove the prawns and set aside on a plate, then increase the heat and continue to cook the sauce for 2–3 minutes. Return the prawns to the wok, stir well, and remove from the heat.
4 To make the rice, combine the rice and 310 ml (103/4 fl oz/11/4 cups) water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. As soon as the water starts to boil, reduce the heat down to the lowest possible setting, cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid, and simmer for 20 minutes. Once cooked, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.
5 To serve, lay the prawns over a bed of rice with the salsa alongside and garnish with coriander.