The first time I tried this dish (made with fish instead of prawns) was in a little joint called Miss Ly Café in Hoi An, Vietnam – the marinade was so good I could have eaten it on its own.
500g tiger prawns, deveined
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bird’s eye chilli, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh turmeric, peeled and chopped
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2.5cm piece of ginger, chopped
1 fresh lemongrass stalk, trimmed and tender inner white part minced
2 tablespoons coriander, chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 pieces banana leaf
- Combine ingredients and let prawns marinate for an hour.
- Pre-heat grill. Bring a large pot of water to the boil, plunge banana leaves into water for a few seconds to soften, then plunge into cold water. Dry well.
- Place half the prawns in the centre of each of the pieces of leaf and top with marinade. Fold wide sides of leaf so they overlap at top and secure with a toothpick. Fold over ends to enclose sides and secure each side with a toothpick.
- Grill over medium-high heat for 10 minutes (or until prawns are pink), turning at least once.
- Serve banana leaf parcels with wedges of lime, steamed rice infused with bashed lemongrass and garlicky green beans.