Tamarind is one of my favourite ingredients and it’s an ingredient Thais love to use in dishes. Its distinctive sour flavour provides a great contrast in dishes which are very sweet or spicy. For this dish it blends with sugar to coat the prawns in a delicious sticky, sour, sweet sauce.
Moreover, preparation for some Thai dishes can sometimes take some time due to the amount of pounding, chopping, and grinding involved, but there are also some dishes which are simple to prepare and also capture the delicious taste of Thailand immensely, this is one such dish.
For me, one of the best places to try this popular dish is at At Panta Phuket’s Leelawadee Restaurant where it can be enjoyed together with a number of other Thai dishes from their menu. However, you must choose wisely to get the right combination of flavours.
300g – Tiger prawns (peel and deveined)
1⁄2 cup – Palm sugar
1⁄2cup – Tamarind juice
3tsp – Fish sauce
1⁄2tsp – Ground white pepper
2 Big red chilles (cut into ½ inch pieces and fried in oil until they turn dark in colour. (Remove and drain on kitchen paper)
4 Shallots (thinly sliced and deep-fried until golden brown, drain on kitchen paper)
4 Cloves of garlic (thinly sliced and deep fried until golden brown, drain on kitchen paper)
A handful of coriander leaves (to garnish)
Put the palm sugar into a wok over a low heat and keep stirring until the palm sugar starts to melt and turns a little brown. Then add the tamarind juice, fish sauce and pepper and stir for a few minutes until the sauce starts to thicken. Add the prawns and simmer for about 2 minutes until cooked (if the sauce is dry, add a little bit of water).
Add a bit of the fried garlic and shallots. Turn off the heat and serve garnished with the chillies, shallots, garlic and coriander.
At Panta Phuket
310/51 Moo 1, Baandon-Cherngtalay Road, Thalang, Phuket 83110 Thailand
Tel: +66 7627 5002-14 F: +66 7627 5016