I buy the Guardian every Saturday just to get “Feast”. Two dozen pages of food writing by fantastic modern cooks, a wide array of recipes and finished up with one of my week’s highlights - a “no-holds-barred” restaurant review by Grace Dent, my favourite Northern Girl. Plus it has little tidbits such as “How I Eat” by celebrities, but the celebrities always lie… if you’ve read it you know what I mean! Anyway - I’m going off point…
Feast always starts off with three Ottolenghi recipes and when I saw “Orange Nam Jim” I knew I had to make it. I’d no idea what a Nam Jim was but it sounded like it was going to be good - I just had to wait for my husband to go away for the night so I could make, and eat, it all by myself! [It’s not that I’m greedy…he just doesn’t like prawns]
Anyway I made the recipe as per Yotam’s and it was, as always, perfectly measured out, easy to follow and above all delicious. Possibly a touch heavy on the fish sauce… maybe?
Let me know if you’ve made it or what changes you made to the recipe? Email me; email@example.com
350g raw extra-large king prawns, peeled and deveined
1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
3 tbsp vegetable oil
600g cooked udon noodles
10g Thai basil leaves
3 spring onions, finely sliced on an angle
10g coriander leaves
2 red chillies, deseeded and finely sliced
1 tbsp sesame seeds, ideally a mixture of black and white, toasted
2 oranges – juice 1 to get 80ml and cut the other into wedges
½ tbsp basmati rice
¾ tbsp Aleppo chilli, lightly toasted until fragrant
20g tamarind paste
40ml fish sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 shallot, peeled and finely diced
5g coriander leaves, finely chopped
Mix the prawns in a bowl with the garlic, two tablespoons of oil and half a teaspoon of salt, then leave to marinate for an hour.
For the nam jim, put the orange juice in a small saucepan on a medium-high heat and simmer for four minutes, until it has reduced to about 60ml, then leave to cool.
While the juice is cooling, put the rice in a small saucepan on a medium-high heat and toast for four to five minutes, until it is just beginning to colour and smell nutty. Tip the rice into a spice grinder or mortar, add the Aleppo chilli and blitz or pound to a coarse powder. Add the orange juice and all the other nam jim ingredients, stir and set aside while you cook the prawns.
Put a large, nonstick pan on a medium-high flame until very hot, then add the remaining tablespoon of oil.
Fry half the prawns, spaced well apart, for two minutes a side, until crisp and dark golden brown on each side, then transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining prawns (add more oil, if need be).
Return all the prawns to the pan, add the cooked noodles and two-thirds of the nam jim, and toss everything together.
Add two-thirds each of the basil, spring onion, coriander and chilli, and gently toss together.
Pour over the remaining nam jim, scatter over the remaining herbs and finish with the sesame seeds. Serve warm with orange wedges for squeezing over.