Thai Hors D’Oeuvres

Thai Hors D'Oeuvres

This colorful selection of ingredients on a leaf-strewn platter is a tempting invitation for guests to make their own flavourful lettuce parcels.

30 g/I oz unsweetened desiccated coconut, roasted at 1 80°/350°F/Gas Mark 4 until light brown
3 tbsp finely diced shallots
3 tbsp finely diced lime
3 tbsp diced root ginger or crystallized ginger
3 tbsp chopped dried baby prawns
3 tbsp unsalted roasted peanuts
2 tsp chopped fresh small green Thai chilies
vine or other edible leaves, for decorating platter
lettuce leaves, for serving

2 tbsp unsweetened coconut
tbsp prawn paste
1 tsp sliced root ginger
1/2 tsp sliced shallot
3 tbsp chopped unsalted peanuts
2 tbsp chopped dried baby prawns
225 g/8 oz demerara or soft brown sugar
600 ml/ I pt water

Serves 6 to 8

First, make the sauce: roast the desiccated coconut with the prawn paste, root ginger and shallot in a 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 oven for 5 minutes until fragrant, then let cool.

Place the peanuts and prawns in a blender or food processor and chop finely, or pound with a mortar and pestle. Pour the mixture into a heavy pan. Add the sugar and water Mix well and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the sauce is reduced to about pint. Remove from the heat and let cool.

To serve, pour the sauce into a serving bowl and arrange all the ingredients in separate piles on a platter or in small bowls. Have the lettuce leaves ready in a separate bowl.

To eat, take a lettuce leaf, place a small amount of each of the garnishes in the middle, top with a spoonful of sauce and fold up into a little package.