Sweet and sour prawn salad with coconut and tamarind #Tricky Fishy

Recipe from the multi-talented Rebecca Wollard! As used at her charity supper club to help raise awareness for Action for Elephants UK

Serves 8 as a starter or 4 as a main course

Get ahead The shallot and tamarind mixture can be made up to 24 hours in advance (go to the end of step one) – just keep covered in the fridge and add the herbs when reheating.

Cook’s tip You can find frozen grated coconut in Indian shops – it’s much juicier than desiccated. Defrost before using. If you can’t find it, use 100g desiccated coconut, but rehydrate it by soaking in a bowl with just enough freshly boiled water to cover. Leave to sit for 20 minutes then drain away any excess water.

4 tbsp sunflower oil, plus extra to fry the prawns

6 banana shallots, finely sliced lengthways

4 inch piece root ginger, finely grated

3 fat garlic cloves, crushed

3tbsp tamarind paste

1 tbsp clear honey

150g freshly grated coconut (see tip)

120g coriander, roughly chopped

75g fresh mint, finely chopped

24 raw Latimers tiger prawns, deveined and butterflied, skinned with heads and tails left on

3 mangoes, peeled and sliced into long strips

4 little gem lettuces, root removed and separated into leaves (cut large leaves in half)

3 limes, 2 for juice, 2 in wedges to serve

4 spring onions, finely sliced

2 red chillies, finely chopped

Large handful salted peanuts, finely chopped


1 Heat the 4tbsp oil in a large frying pan and when shimmering, fry the shallots over a medium-high heat, stirring often, for 8-10 minutes until dark golden and soft. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the ginger and garlic. Fry for 2-3 minutes until fragrant, then add the tamarind paste and honey, turn the heat back up and let it bubble for 1-2 minutes until syrupy. Tip in the coconut, check the seasoning and keep warm over a low heat.

2 Arrange the mango and lettuce on plates and squeeze over lime juice to taste. Stir the spring onions and most of the herbs into the shallot and coconut mixture. Heat a splash of oil in another frying pan over a high heat, then when the pan is very hot add the prawns, and cook for 2 minutes on each side until just pink all over. If you need to do this in batches, put the cooked prawns on a dinner plate and cover with tin foil topped with a teatowel while you cook the second batch.

3 Once the prawns are cooked, remove from the heat. Divide the coconut mixture between the plates in small dollops, then top each plate with three prawns, scatter with the chillies, peanuts and remaining herbs and serve immediately, with lime wedges for squeezing over.