40 gm (8cm piece)ginger, coarsely chopped1lemongrass stalk, white part only, coarsely chopped1 tbspvegetable oil½ tsp eachwhite peppercorns and coriander seeds, finely crushed in a mortar and pestle400 mlcoconut milk3kaffir lime leaves, coarsely torn1½ tbspfish sauce, or to taste15 gmlight palm sugar, or to taste, crushed2 cups (loosely packed)Thai basil leavesJuiceof 1 lime, or to taste3uncooked lobster tails, halved, meat removed, cut into large bite-sized piecesTo serve:steamed jasmine rice2small green chillies, thinly sliced, to serve Sweet and sour melon½honeydew melon, cut into 5cm cubes120 gmcaster sugar55 mlrice wine vinegar1 tbspfish sauceFried shallotsFor shallow-frying:vegetable oil6golden shallots, thinly sliced
For sweet and sour melon, place melon in a non-reactive container and set aside. Stir sugar, vinegar, fish sauce and 80ml water in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves, set aside to cool, pour over melon and refrigerate to pickle slightly (20 minutes).
For fried shallots, heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat until shimmering, add shallot and stir until golden (3-5 minutes). Strain through a metal sieve and set aside to drain on absorbent paper.
Process ginger, lemongrass, oil and spices in a small food processor to a fine paste. Heat a saucepan over medium heat, add paste and stir-fry until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Add coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce, palm sugar and half the Thai basil, stir to dissolve sugar and bring to the simmer. Add lime juice, adjust seasoning to taste, add lobster and simmer until just cooked through (2-3 minutes). Spoon onto steamed jasmine rice, top with drained sweet and sour melon, fried shallots, thinly sliced chilli and remaining Thai basil leaves and serve.
This recipe is from the February 2013 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.