Luke Nguyen's chargrilled spicy prawn salad (Goong Pla)

Luke Nguyen's chargrilled spicy prawn salad (Goong Pla)

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Gluten Free
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Be transported to the streets of Bangkok with this spicy chargrilled prawn salad.

Hot-and-sour salads like this are at the heart of Thai cuisine and you can balance the chilli and lime juice to suit your own taste. Here, the prawns are the star. Gorgeously fresh chargrilled king prawns are used for this salad, served in their charred shells.

Ingredients (serves 4 to 6 as part of a shared meal)

  • 500 g raw king prawns (shrimp), peeled and deveined, heads and tails intact
  • 1 tbsp Thai roasted red chilli paste
  • 1 handful coriander (cilantro) sprigs, torn
  • 1 handful mint leaves
  • 1 handful Thai basil leaves
  • 4 makrut (kaffir lime) leaves, finely sliced
  • 4 cm piece lemongrass stalk, white part only, very finely sliced
  • 4 red Asian shallots, finely sliced


  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp Thai roasted red chilli paste
  • 3–5 bird’s eye chillies, sliced


Put the prawns in a mixing bowl, add the chilli paste and stir to coat them well. Leave to marinate for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the dressing ingredients in a bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Heat a chargrill pan or barbecue chargrill to medium–high. Cook the prawns for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through.

Add the chargrilled prawns to a mixing bowl with the coriander, mint, Thai basil, makrut leaves, lemongrass, shallots and dressing. Toss together well, transfer to a plate and serve.

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