Making Thai Red Prawn Curry
I haven’t been feeling very well as of late. It is one thing to be tired after a shift, but it’s another when you periodically check your hemoglobin levels to find that it’s always below the baseline. And having recurring fevers and fatigue that doesn’t seem to go away even after an 8-hour sleep. And so one fine day I decided to see a doctor. The irony.
I told my doctor about the symptoms I’ve had. Pain in the lower abdomen. Changes in defecation pattern. The lingering feeling of fullness after even a small meal. The urge to throw up after a normal meal.
He knew my medical history and said that having a history of ovarian tumor, there’s a minuscule chance it might be HNPCC. So you’d want a colonoscopy? the doctor asked. And an endoscopy, I answered. Should I check my CEA as well? Haven’t you already? Nope. Well then you should. I’ll see you on Monday.
And so here’s to waiting till Monday. And also to taking a leap of faith by deciding to take some time off from the internship, because there will be no check-ups on Monday if I don’t. Or for the next 6 months for that matter. Ramadan is coming and I can’t think of a better time to take a temporary leave. May that time be spent wisely and carefully.
THAI RED PRAWN CURRY (recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver's):
[ 2-4 tablespoons of olive oil + 2 stalks of lemongrass + 1-2 fresh red chili + 2 cloves of garlic + 4 kaffir lime leaves, fresh if you have them, dried or frozen if you don’t + 2 medium sized tomatoes + 2cm piece of fresh ginger + 1/4 - 1/2 tablespoon chili powder + 1 tablespoon fish sauce + 2 tablespoon soy sauce + 1 teaspoon sesame oil + juice of 1 lime + 10 large unpeeled tiger prawns + 220 small prawns + a handful or string beans or sugar snap peas + one 400g tin of coconut milk ] TO SERVE: Jasmine rice, a bunch of coriander and some lime wedges.
Put a large frying pan on a medium heat. Trim the ends and tough outer leaves of the lemongrass stalks and bash up the stalks with the side of a knife.
Peel and/or chop the ginger, garlic cloves, tomatoes, chili and lime leaves, then put into a food processor with the lemongrass stalks, chili powder, fish and soy sauce and sesame oil. Blitz to a paste.
Grab your tiger prawns and add 1 tablespoon of red curry paste. Mix until coated.
Drizzle some olive oil into the hot frying pan and add the tiger prawns. Let them fry for around 1 minute, then add another tablespoon of the curry paste and fry for 1 more minute.
Put into an oven proof dish and put into the oven on the top shelf for about 8 to 10 minutes.
Grab a saucepan and drizzle some olive oil. Spoon in the rest of the curry paste and let fry for a minute. .
Add the sugar snap peas or string beans followed by the small prawns. Stir and fry for another minute or two before adding the coconut milk. Stir as it melts down, then leave to simmer on a medium to low heat
Taste the curry and correct the seasoning with a few drops of soy sauce or salt if needed. Add in the juice of one lime and stir. Scatter over the reserved coriander leaves.
Take the tiger prawns out of the oven.
Cut the remaining limes into wedges for squeezing over. Serve prawn curry and tiger prawns over rice with some cucumber salad.