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Martin Boetz: Chicken and prawn salad with caramelised coconut and lime

You'll need

12 cooked large king prawns, peeled and shredded 2 limes, juice only, plus extra limes, to serve 1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, thinly sliced 25 gm (5cm piece) ginger, cut into julienne 45 gm (1/3 cup) roasted unsalted peanuts, coarsely crushed, plus extra, to serve 1 cup (loosely packed) each round mint and coriander leaves 5 kaffir lime leaves, cut into julienne 4 long red chillies, seeds removed, cut into julienne To serve: lime wedges   Poached chicken 2 litres (8 cups) chicken stock (see recipe for mussel and clam salad) 500 ml (2 cups) coconut cream 100 ml oyster sauce 100 ml fish sauce 20 gm (4cm piece) galangal, thinly sliced 5 kaffir lime leaves, cut into julienne 2 lemongrass stalks, bruised 1 chicken breast frame, from a 1.8kg chicken   Coconut-caramel sauce 20 gm (4cm piece) ginger 3 coriander roots, scraped and cleaned 2 garlic cloves 5 white peppercorns 2 tbsp vegetable oil 100 gm light palm sugar, shaved 1 dry coconut, flesh finely grated with a zester 2 tsp shrimp floss (see note) 1 tsp shrimp paste, roasted and ground 50 ml fish sauce ½ a lime, juice only


  • 01
  • For poached chicken, place chicken stock in a large, deep-sided saucepan, add coconut cream, bring to the boil over high heat. Add oyster and fish sauces, galangal, lime leaves and lemongrass, set aside to infuse (10 minutes). Add chicken, return to the boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, remove from heat. Weight chicken with a plate, cover and stand until chicken is cooked through (45-50 minutes). Remove chicken from liquid, set aside to cool (20-30 minutes), then coarsely shred chicken breast along the grain into long thin strips (discard skin, bone and sinew), transfer to a large bowl.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for coconut-caramel sauce, pound ginger, coriander, garlic and peppercorns in a mortar and pestle to a fine paste. Heat oil over medium heat in a saucepan, add paste, stir until golden (2-3 minutes). Add palm sugar, stir until melted (4-5 minutes), add a little hot water to melt, if necessary, cook until light caramel (5-6 minutes). Add coconut, shrimp floss and shrimp paste, bring to a simmer over high heat, add fish sauce and 50ml water, season to taste – it should be sweet and salty. Return to boil, set aside, cool to room temperature (30-40 minutes), stir through lime juice. Makes 185ml.
  • 03
  • Add prawn to chicken with coconut-caramel sauce, lime juice, lemongrass, ginger and peanuts and toss to combine. Add mint, coriander, lime leaves and chilli, gently toss to combine, and serve scattered with extra peanuts, with lime wedges to the side.
Note Shrimp floss is small dried shrimp blended in a spice grinder into a fine powder.

This recipe is from the November 2009 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

2008 Pizzini Rosetta or any balanced rosé.

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