Sunday, January 1

Lemon Grass Pork & Prawn Wontons

This was the starter from my alternative Boxing day Thai feast. I don’t know if these are authentically thai or some sort of chinese import but they are moreish and go great with a cold one, either as a canapé or as a starter. You can prepare these in advance, try doubling or tripling the recipe and freeze the extras for another day. You will be able to get the wanton wrappers from any Asian supermarkets.

- 2 sticks lemon grass
- 100g small raw prawns
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 fresh lime leaves
- Small wanton wrappers
- 1 egg, beaten
- oil for deep frying
- sweet chilli sauce for dipping

Remove the tough outer stalks of the lemon grass and very finely slice it. In a pestle and mortar pound the lemon grass into a paste, don’t skimp on the pounding, it really does need to be as pulpy or the finished wontons won't eat well. Dry the prawns on kitchen paper and then add to the mortar along with the salt and pound the shrimps to a lumpy paste mixing in with the lemongrass paste at the same time. Remove the central ribs from the lime leaves and very finely chop. Stir in the finely chopped lime leaves and set aside.

Take a wanton wrapper and place a teaspoon of the shrimp mixture in the centre. Brush beaten egg down two adjoining sides and fold over the wrapper to make a triangle. Try and push the air out of the wanton and ensure the sides are well sealed so oil does not leak in during frying. Repeat until all the wantons are made.

Heat the oil in a wok or deep pan and fry the wantons in batches of 4 or 5 until golden brown.   The oil should be hot enough so that the wantons take only a minute or so to cook. Drain the wantons on kitchen towel and keep warm until all are cooked. Serve with sweet chilli sauce for dipping.

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