Shrimp paste: This Thai ingredient is made from fermented, salted shrimps that are pounded into a concentrated paste, but it must be cooked and not used in its raw state. Once opened, you need to store it in the fridge with a tight lid on and place it in a polythene bag, as it has quite a strong aroma. But that said, it helps to give a wonderful authentic flavour to Thai recipes.
Dried shrimps: These have lots of concentrated shrimp flavour, unlike tired and tasteless frozen prawns, which have no value at all. They are available in oriental shops, but have only a short shelf life – about 4 weeks – so buy them in small quantities and keep them refrigerated. They need to be soaked in hot water for 15 minutes before using.
Flavour, texture, colour…this South-East Asian classic has it all! Delia was given the recipe by one of China's most legendary restaurateurs, so we just know it is authentic and terrific.
Pineapple crops up in many Thai dishes and here it offers a juicy, tangy counterpoint to fat, succulent prawns, all cooked in a spicy sauce. Quick and easy, Thai curries are the perfect midweek solution when you are tired and hungry.
The soups of South-East Asia are all united by their punchy flavours, spicy elements and use of fresh herbs, fish and meat. This laksa is a really authentic version, but if you're short of time, use a ready-made paste.
A trip to Thailand inspired Delia to recreate this Asian classic when she got home ... and it was well worth it. Give it a try - it's not one of Thailand's most popular dishes for nothing.
You won't believe how utterly simple and easy this is, and yet it tastes exotic and wonderful and, what's more, it can all be prepared well in advance and the fish added about 10 minutes before you want to eat it.
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