The spice paste makes double what you need, but it's easier to
make this amount and save half for another meal. The paste will
keep for a week in an airtight container.
2 tbspvegetable oil12uncooked prawns, peeled, tails intact12pipis, soaked2red birdseye chillies (optional)200 gmpineapple, diced1tbsp fish sauce, or to taste1 cup(loosely packed) Thai basilTo serve: lime halves (optional) and steamed jasmine rice (optional)Spice paste6long red chillies, coarsely chopped20 gmpeeled ginger, coarsely chopped4red shallots, coarsely chopped2garlic cloves, coarsely chopped1lemongrass stalk (white part only), chopped2 tbspgrapeseed oil50 gmlight palm sugar, grated1 tbspfish sauce
For spice paste, blend ingredients except palm sugar and fish sauce in a blender with 100ml water until smooth. Transfer to a wok and stir-fry continuously over high heat until water evaporates and sauce starts to stick to the pan (4-6 minutes). Add palm sugar and fish sauce, stir over high heat until paste deepens in colour (2-3 minutes), then set aside and clean wok.
Heat oil in wok over high heat until smoking, then add prawns, pipis and chilli, and stir-fry until prawns are golden and pipis open (2-4 minutes). Add half the spice paste (reserve remaining paste for another use) and stir to combine, then stir in pineapple, fish sauce and basil. Serve with lime halves and steamed rice.