Stir-fried prawns, pork and squid with glass noodles, chilli and mint

The sun is coming out, and so it's time to eat 'cleaner' food.  I'm a huge fan of Japanese cuisine, but there's something very appealing in Asian salads from all over the continent.  This Cambodian salad, from Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey, really hits my buttons.

Best of all it cane be made in advance - perfect for Sunday evening when you're trying to recover from the post-Sunday lunch blow-out!

vegetable oil for frying
100g shallots
200g glass noodles
200g large raw peeled prawns
200g squid, sliced into 5mm-thick rings
100g minced pork (or meatballs, see the Notes)
25g dried shrimp
3 Tbsp fish sauce
4 Tbsp lime juice
20g mint leaves
1 Tbsp palm sugar
50g peanuts
1 red bird's eye chillies

  • Pour 1cm oil into a large deep frying-pan.  Add the shallots and fry over a medium heat until they are crisp and golden brown.  Lift them out with a slotted spoon onto plenty of kitchen paper and leave to drain.  Reserve the frying oil. 
  • Bring a large pan of unsalted water to the boil, add the noodles, take the pan off the hear and leave them to soak for 2 minutes.  Drain well, roughly cut the noodles into a manageable length and set aside to drain even further. If there is a lot of excess water in the noodles, place some folded sheets of kitchen paper into the bottom of a bowl and tip the noodles on top.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the shallot-flavoured oil in a wok or large deep frying pan, add the prawns, season lightly with salt and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until just cooked.  Lift onto a a plate, add another 1-2 tablespoons oil to the pan and add the squid, season lightly with salt and stir-fry for 1-11/2 minutes until nicely caramelised.  Add to the plate with the prawns.  Finally, heat another 1-2 tablespoons il in the pan, add the minced pork and stir-fry for 1-11/2 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon into small pieces as it browns.
  • Put the noodles into a large bowl and add the pork, prawns, squid, peanuts, mint, dried shrimp and chilli, and toss together well.  Mix the lime juice, sugar and fish sauce together, toss through the salad and serve at room temperature.

  • I had to use those fresh rice noodles, but they come with an oily film over them.  I've tried washing it off in the past, but the result is not ideal.  I've tried soaking them in juice too, but it's not much better... The easiest solution I've found is to toss them for a few minutes in about a tablespoon of sesame oil.  This compliments the overall dish, and adds a further level to the flavour combinations.
  • I didn't use the squid, didn't have any :0)
  • I found the pork mince a little... flaccid... I popped it into a hot oven for 5 minutes or so just to really give it a more roasted, and crispy edge - it much improved the texture
  • I did add some halved baby gem leaves too, for a little more texture, clearly that's not authentic, but does improve the texture overall
  • The next time I made this, I bought mini meatballs instead, and pressed them down in the pan as I was shallow-frying them.  I then popped them into the oven for 15 minutes.  Chopped into quarters, they form a much better crunch than the mince (imho)

Stir-fried prawns, pork and quid with glass noodles, chilli and mint

There are lots of other interesting recipes in Rick's book >