1 packet flat or round Vietnamese rice noodles
Ingredients for gravy:
- 500 g Mackerel or tuna (boneless), or any firm fleshed fish
- 200 g Prawns
- 60 g Dried shrimps, soaked in warm water for 30 mins then drained.
- 3 liter Light fish stock (almost like water)
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 5 nos Shallots, sliced
- 60 g Ginger
- 60 g Fish curry powder, (This product can be found in any Indian Grocery Shop)
- 1 can Coconut cream
- 3 stalk Lemongrass, banged and bruised
- 30 g Galangal (Blue ginger)
- 30 g Tamarind paste, diluted with warm water
- 150 ml Corn oil, peanut oil or any low cholesterol cooking oil
- 3 tbsp Roasted desiccated coconut -Optional- (Can be roasted in an oven or sautéed in a non stick Pan until golden brown)
- ¾ tbsp Seasoning to taste
Ingredients for condiments:
- Calamansi or Lime’s to squeeze over the finished noodles.
- Beansprout which do not need to blanched
- Cucumber, cut into match stick sized strips
- Red Onion, sliced
- Green and red chili, sliced
Soak the noodles with lukewarm water for 6 hrs, then blanch them in boiling water for at least 8-10 minutes. Test them to ensure that they are cooked before draining, then soak in cold water to avoid any carry over cooking.
In 2 separate cooking pots simmer the fish and prawns in salted water until cooked, drain them both off ensuring that you capture and keep the stock. Peel the prawns and then chop the fish and prawns coarsely using a food processor adding a little stock to help along the process.
Grind all dried ingredients except the lemongrass in to a smooth paste and add a bit of light stock.
Place a pot on the stove, add the oil and then sauté the paste and lemongrass until fragrant. Add the saved seafood stock, coconut milk and tamarind juice.
Let it slowly simmer, then add the mixture of fish and prawns, mix it well and let it simmer for 3 minutes, adjusting the seasoning at the end.
Arrange the noodles in a bowl or plate, pour the desired amount of sauce over the top and then garnish with the assorted condiments.
Spaghetti can be use to replace the rice noodles if preferred or if rice noodles are not available in your local supermarket. You can simmer the gravy (before you add the fish and prawns) as long as you like to get the thickness you want, making sure that you continuously skim off any impurities that rise to the top, this needs to be done to ensure they will not simmer back into the sauce and spoil it. Remember that when you simmer any liquid, the rising steam is water escaping and the less water will ensure the liquid continues to get thicker as the solids are left alone. “Carry over cooking” occurs if you allow something to stay hot after retrieving it from the cooking process. In other words, if you do not refresh your vegetables in cold water after boiling them and leave them in a colander, they will continue cooking until they naturally cool off. This will reduce all the natural healthy nutrients enclosed in the vegetables and make them less appetizing in colour and texture. Leaving them hot and not cooling them off is only good if you are going to serve them straight away. Chef Kasdi has garnished his noodles with half a piece of lime so that the diners can squeeze it themselves over their noodles and he has also garnished his dish with a sprig of coriander.