I’m lucky to have some incredible chefs and cooks on speed dial. For Thai food, I call on my friend Max Borthwick. Max and his mom Toi created a line of Thai sauces using the best ingredients around, called Thai fusions. Their sauces aren’t strictly Thai, but you always know that’s where they started. For this recipe, Max encouraged me to seek out finger root instead of traditional ginger. As I researched it, I learned that finger root contains antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties that combat gastrointestinal issues, help balance yeast in our bodies, and keep us feeling energized. Here I combine it with another anti-inflammatory ingredient—turmeric—to create a delicious, one-of-a-kind marinade.Substitute chicken thighs or a thick, white-fleshed fish like halibut, cut into 1 in [2.5 cm] cubes, or shrimp, for the prawns if you prefer.
COCONUT THAI PRAWNS with Turmeric and Ginger
- One 13.5 oz [398 ml] can coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 2 Tbsp green curry paste
- 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp grated fresh fingerroot or ginger
- 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1⁄2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 lb [910 g] large prawns or colossal shrimp (about 24 prawns or shrimp), shelled
- 8 long wooden skewers
- One 14 oz [396 g] box stir-fry rice noodles
- 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
Combine the coconut milk, fish sauce, curry paste, brown sugar, finger root, lime juice, turmeric, salt, and pepper in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, for about 3 minutes. Set aside 1 cup [240 ml] of the marinade. Transfer the remaining warm marinade to a heatproof bowl, and refrigerate until cool. Add the prawns to the chilled marinade, and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours.
One hour before serving, soak the wooden skewers in water. Thirty minutes before serving, remove the prawns from the refrigerator. Thread the prawns onto the skewers, dividing them evenly.
Prepare a grill for cooking over medium-high heat, 400°F [200°C]. Grease the grill grate lightly, then place the skewers on the grill. Cook, turning once, until the prawns are pink and slightly browned, 4 to 6 minutes total.
As the prawns come off the grill, prepare the rice noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse under cool water. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the sesame oil. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rice noodles and toss to coat.
Warm the reserved marinade in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Arrange the prawns over the rice noodles, drizzle with the warm marinade, and garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.
Reprinted from The Vibrant Life: Eat Well, Be Well by Amanda Haas with permission from Chronicle Books, 2019. Photographs © Erin Kunkel.