If you need inspiration for dinner this week, this coconut and chilli prawn recipe I learned in a cooking class in Fiji will do the trick and it is so simple to make at home.
I’m not much of a fly and flop sort of person on holiday. I get bored easily and I think that’s why I love blogging so much – it makes me get out and do and try things on the pretext of needing to write new material, otherwise I’d probably lie in bed and poodle about on Facebook never seeing anything.
And so it was that I found myself booked in for a cooking lesson at the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort on Fiji’s Coral Coast with executive chef Shailesh Naidu and his very able assistant Priya Darshani. Both are local kids turned pro chefs and Shailesh is an inspiration, as president of the Fiji Chef’s Association he has started a mentoring programme to encourage local kids into cooking. What he began as a masterchef style of training in 1 high school has turned into 10+ schools all now competing for prizes that are better than the ones handed out at exec competitions!
I put on my hairnet and don my Outrigger brown apron, then we are divided into two teams. Mine has the enviable dish of chilli, lime and coconut prawns. Here’s the recipe. It’s so easy, you must try at home!
Fijian chilli, lime & coconut prawns recipe
Tiger prawns x 8 (tails on or off)
Kaffir lime leaves
150ml coconut milk
15gm chilli jam (quarter cup maybe? Add this to taste. Sweet chilli sauce can also work, but it will make the dish very sweet. I now combine a little chilli with sweet chilli to suit my taste)
10gm chopped onions (1 whole is about right)
5gm garlic paste (it looked like about a tbs to me)
salt & pepper to taste
In a pan saute onion, garlic and add the prawns
Add chilli jam followed by the coconut milk, tear the lime leaves and throw in
Simmer till prawns cook and the sauce thickens.
Adjust seasoning to taste (more coconut milk if chilli is too strong. We also added lime juice to take some heat of the chilli)
Serve with rice (I love the crunch of brown rice). I also wilt spinach leaves over them in the pan to add some veggies!
Cooking classes are held on Thursdays and cost FJ$55 per person.
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