In a wok or a large frying pan, heat oil on high. Stir-fry prawns in batches, 2 to 3 mins each, until completely changed colour. Remove. 2 In same wok, stir-fry onion, ginger and shrimp paste 1 to 2 mins until onion is tender. Return prawns to wok with sauces, sugar, chilli and pepper, stir-frying 1 min. 3 Add beans and spinach to wok. Stir-fry 1 to 2 mins until spinach begins to wilt. Serve with rice and mint.
HOT & SWEET PRAWNS WITH STIR-FRIED GREENS
Prep 10 mins • Cook 15 mins • Serves 4
2 tbsps vegetable oil •750 g large green prawns, peeled, tails on (see tip) •1 red onion, sliced •2 tsps grated ginger •2 tsps shrimp paste •2 tbsps fish sauce •2 tbsps soy sauce •1 tbsp caster sugar •1 chilli padi, finely chopped •¼ tsp white pepper •200 g green beans, trimmed, halved •1 bunch ong choy (water spinach) or English spinach, stem, leaves separated •Steamed jasmine rice, mint sprigs, to serve
1 In a wok or a large frying pan, heat oil on high. Stir-fry prawns in batches, 2 to 3 mins each, until completely changed colour. Remove.
2 In same wok, stir-fry onion, ginger and shrimp paste 1 to 2 mins until onion is tender. Return prawns to wok with sauces, sugar, chilli and pepper, stir-frying 1 min.
3 Add beans and spinach to wok. Stir-fry 1 to 2 mins until spinach begins to wilt. Serve with rice and mint.
TIP: To devein prawns, remove head and shell. Then pinch the digestive tract between your finger and thumb, gently pulling it to remove.
FRIED CHICKEN WINGS WITH NOODLE SALAD
Prep 25 mins (plus marinating) • Cook 20 mins • Serves 4
1 kg chicken wings, tips trimmed •2 tbsps fish sauce •1 tbsp caster sugar •2 cloves garlic, crushed •1 tsp ground black pepper •Vegetable oil, for frying •1 egg •1 tbsp iced water •¾ cup cornflour NOODLE SALAD •200 g vermicelli noodles •1/3 cup lime juice •2 tbsps fish sauce •2 tbsps brown sugar •1 long red chilli, finely chopped •½ iceberg lettuce, shredded •1 cucumber, sliced into ribbons •1 bunch Vietnamese mint, leaves picked •¼ cup crushed peanuts
1 Halve chicken wing, cutting through joint with the heel of a large, heavy chef knife.
2 Combine chicken, fish sauce, sugar, garlic and pepper. Marinate 15 mins. Fill a large saucepan to one-third full with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat until a piece of bread sizzles when added.
3 Drain chicken from marinade. Dip in combined egg and water, then coat in cornflour. Working in three batches, deep-fry wings 5 to 6 mins each, turning until golden and cooked through. Drain.
4 NOODLE SALAD In a heatproof bowl, cover noodles with warm water. Soak 5 mins, rinse under cold water and drain well. Cut into 10 cm lengths. In a jug, combine juice, sauce, sugar and chilli, stirring to dissolve. Toss noodles with remaining ingredients. Serve chicken on a bed of noodles.
TIP: Always taste your dressing to make sure it is the right balance of sweet, salty, sour and hot.
BO LUC LAC (SHAKING BEEF)
Prep 15 mins (plus marinating) • Cook 10 mins • Serves 4
750 g beef sirloin steak, 2 cm cubes (see tip) •2 tbsps oyster sauce •1 tbsp fish sauce •1 tbsp caster sugar •4 cloves garlic, crushed •2 tsps sesame oil •2 tsps peanut oil •1 bunch watercress, trimmed •2 tomatoes, roughly chopped •Steamed rice, lime wedges, to serve SWEET & SOUR ONIONS •2 tbsps rice vinegar •2 tsps caster sugar •½ tsp salt •1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 In a large bowl, combine beef with sauces, sugar, garlic, sesame oil. Season with black pepper. Allow to marinate 15 mins.
2 SWEET & SOUR ONIONS Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine vinegar, sugar and salt, stirring to dissolve. Add onion and mix well. Set aside 15 mins.
3 In a wok or large frying pan, heat peanut oil on high. Stir-fry beef in two batches, 2 to 3 mins each, until browned.
4 Arrange watercress and tomatoes on a serving platter. Top with beef and sweet & sour onions. Serve with steamed rice and lime wedges.
TIP: Use a good quality lean cut of beef. Scotch fillet or rump steak also work well.
CRISPY PANCAKES WITH STICKY PORK BELLY & PICKLE
Prep 20 mins (plus resting) • Cook 20 mins • Serves 4
1 cup rice flour •¼ cup cornflour •½ tsp ground turmeric •1 cup coconut milk •1 cup chilled water •1 cup bean sprouts •1 cup mint leaves •1 cup coriander leaves •4 green onions, shredded, plus extra to serve CARROT PICK LE •1 tbsp white vinegar •1 tbsp caster sugar •1 tbsp water •1 carrot, shredded on mandoline STICKY PORK BELLY •2 tbsps soy sauce •2 tbsps dark brown sugar •1 tbsp fish sauce •250 g pork belly rashers, 0.5 cm slices
1 Sift flours and turmeric together into a bowl. Whisk in coconut milk and water until smooth (see tip).
2 Carrot pickle Combine vinegar, sugar and water. Stir over a low heat to dissolve. Transfer to a bowl, add carrots and set aside.
3 STICKY PORK BELLY In a bowl, combine soy, sugar and fish sauce, stirring to dissolve. Add pork and mix well. Spray a frying pan with oil. Cook pork (reserving marinade) in a single layer 1 to 2 mins each side. Pour in remaining marinade and simmer 2 mins, until sticky.
4 Heat an oiled, 22 cm non-stick frying pan on high. Pour in ¼ batter, swirling to cover base. Cook 2 to 3 mins until underside is crisp and lightly golden. Cover half pancake with ¼ pork, vegetables and herbs. Top with carrot pickle. Fold, and slide onto plate. Repeat. Serve pancakes topped with extra onions.
TIP: If you have time, leave the pancake batter to rest for 1 hour. These pancakes are known as bánh xèo.