If you like Thai food, this is definitely one of the must-try dishes when you visit Thailand or any Thai restaurant. I would consider the crab version a more popular version but I am still not comfortable handling crabs at home.
The rice noodle is tasteless on its own. But when cooked with the spices, broth and the prawn, the vermicelli is so yummy that I can have this on its own as a complete meal. I got this recipe from Aunty Rebecca who has mastered this dish so well that it has become a standard item whenever she hosts and her "To-Die-For" signature dish waits for no one when rushed to the dining table.
10 large prawns (with shells on)
5 fat garlic cloves - peeled and cut half
Old Ginger - Thumb-sized and cut into 4 long slices
4 pcs Coriander roots - 3cm stems
1 tsp white peppercorn seeds - slightly crushed (add more if you like the noodle to be more spicy)
250 grams dry vermicelli (soaked in water for 5 minutes and drain)
2-3 sprigs chinese celery (cut into finger-long)
50 grams pork belly (thinly sliced) or bacon
200 ml light chicken broth
2 tbsp Oyster sauce
2 tbsp Chinese wine
1.5 tbsp fish sauce
1.5 tbsp sugar
3 tsp thick dark sauce
In an earthen claypot, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat.
When oil is hot, add belly/bacon. Saute for 1-2 minutes or until slightly browned.
Add garlic, ginger, coriander roots and peppercorn seeds. Increase heat to medium high and stir fry until fragrant.
Spread the fried ingredient evenly over the pot base. Top with vermicelli and the sauce mixture. Pour in the broth and cover for 1-2 minutes.
Uncover pot and toss the ingredient to ensure vermicelli is evenly coated with mixture. Lay the prawns on top of the rice noodle. Top with chinese celery and coriander.
Drizzle some sesame oil and cover. Cook at medium heat until prawn and vermicelli are cooked. If the liquid dries up too fast before the ingredients are cooked, add some hot water (or extra broth). The timing for this step is very critical. The noodle should not be overcooked (too soft and breaks up) but absorbs all the sauce mixture when done and the prawn nicely cooked.
Rush it to the table. As I said earlier, the dish waits for no one.
|Heat oil and saute bacon until slightly browned.|
|All all spices and coriander roots and stir fry until fragrant.|
|Add vermicelli, sauce mixture, broth and prawns.|
|I cooked a big pot (3 times the ingredients in this recipe) of the prawn vermicelli as staple dish for the easter gathering and guess what - nothing was left!|