Coconut broth prawns with fried aromatics

Serves 4 Starters and mains

134 Prawn Broth 1



  • 750g large tiger prawns, shells and heads on
  • 2 1/2tbsp olive oil
  • 2tbsp tomato paste
  • 6 garlic cloves, bashed with the side of a knife
  • 40g fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 50g lemongrass stalks (approx. 4), roughly sliced
  • 8 large makrut lime leaves
  • 3 red chillies, roughly sliced, with seeds
  • 400g can full-fat coconut milk
  • 60ml double cream, plus 2tbsp extra to serve
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 250g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • cooked coconut, jasmine or brown rice, to serve

For the fried aromatics

  • 105ml olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 red chillies, thinly sliced at a slight angle, with seeds
  • 30g fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 15g coconut flakes
  • 15g picked basil leaves


Peel the prawns, and set aside the heads and shells. Devein the peeled prawns and keep in the fridge until needed.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan that has a lid over a medium-high heat. Add the
tomato paste and prawn heads and shells and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or
until deeply red. Add the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, lime leaves and chillies and cook for a
minute more until fragrant.

Add the coconut milk, cream, 450ml water and 1tsp salt, bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down to medium-low, cover with the lid and leave to cook for 25 minutes. Strain through a sieve set over a large bowl, pressing down on the solids to extract as much flavour as possible (discard the solids or save them for another use). Rinse out the pan, which you’ll need again later.

Meanwhile, make the fried aromatics. Put the oil, garlic, chillies and ginger in a large
frying pan over a medium heat. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the
coconut flakes and a tiny pinch of salt and cook for 4 minutes more or until the garlic and
coconut are golden. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the solids to a plate lined with kitchen paper.

Add the basil leaves to the frying pan and cook for 2–3 minutes until deeply green and translucent. Drain them in a sieve set over a bowl, reserving the aromatic oil. Transfer the basil to the plate of fried aromatics. Wipe out the frying pan, which you’ll need for the prawns.

Add 1tbsp of the aromatic oil to the large sauté pan and place over a medium-high heat. Once
hot, add the tomatoes and cook for 6–7 minutes or until charred and starting to burst. Add the
strained broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 3 minutes, then keep on a low heat while
you fry the prawns.

Heat the large frying pan on a medium-high heat. Toss the prawns with the remaining salt and 2 1/2tbsp of the aromatic oil. Once the pan is very hot, fry the prawns for 60–90 seconds on each side, flipping just to get them coloured. If the pan is overcrowded, do this in two batches.

Divide the broth among 4 shallow bowls and top with the fried prawns. Squeeze a lime
wedge over each of the bowls and drizzle 1/2tbsp extra cream and 1tsp aromatic oil over each bowl, then top with the fried aromatics and serve with the rice of your choice.

Recipes and photographs taken from Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things by Noor Murad and Yotam Ottolenghi, photography by Elena Heatherwick (Ebury Press, £ 25)
134 Prawn Broth 1
Recipes and photographs taken from Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things by Noor Murad and Yotam Ottolenghi, photography by Elena Heatherwick (Ebury Press, £ 25)


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