Thai prawn and noodle salad (aka yummy yum hoon sen!)


This is probably one of my favourite Thai salads. It provides excellent nutrition from a variety of healthy ingredients such as herbs (basil, coriander, mint) and tomatoes as well as good oils (roasted peanuts). In Thailand, there are variations of this dish. I got this recipe from Harry Biker’s Asian Adventure recipe book, which was purchased from Amazon recently. Overall I thought the recipe was quite authentic – as was the whole book – but it’s still not exactly like the salads I’ve had in some places in Thailand. Tweaking it is optional and entirely at your own discretion. This recipe makes a healthy dish nonetheless!

Yum Woon Sen/Thai Prawn Noodle Salad Recipe

250g glass noodles
3 sticks of Chinese celery, trimmed and cut into 2.5cm pieces
40g peanuts
Groundnut oil or vegetable oil
20 Thai shallots (about 8 banana shallots), finely sliced
3 red bird’s eyes chillies, deseeded and finely sliced
12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Juice of 2 limes
4 tbsp Thai fish sauce
40g dried shrimp
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
500g raw, peeled tiger prawns (tails left on), deveined
Large handful each of fresh coriander, holy basil and mint leaves, roughly chopped

1. Put the noodles in a large bowl, cover them with just-boiled water and leave for 15 minutes. Drain.
2. Toast the peanuts in a dry pan, then chop them roughly and set aside.
3. Place a wok over the heat, add 2 tbsp of oil and gently fry half the shallots until they’re golden brown and slightly crispy. Tip them into a large mixing bowl, then add the remaining raw shallots, the chilies, tomatoes, celery, lime juice and fish sauce to the bowl. No need to wash the wok, as you’ll need it again.

4. Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok and fry the dried shrimp for 4 – 5 minutes, until slightly crispy. Add them to the bowl with the shallots and other ingredients.
5. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the wok and add the sliced garlic. Cook gently until the garlic is just turning light gold, then add the raw tiger prawns. Fry, stirring or tossing them regularly to coat the prawns in the garlicky oil, until they have all turned pink and are cooked through.

6. Add the prawns to the bowl with the salad, then add the roughly chopped herbs. Toss in the noodles and give the salad a really good mix with your hands. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the toasted peanuts.

Value for time?
Definitely. It takes less than half an hour to prepare!
Value for money?
Okay, prawns are expensive in the UK. I paid £4 for 200g of prawns – and used all of them here. But this portion last me two meals, plus a snack for a friend ;).
Value for effort?
 It terms of effort, this dish is super easy and satisfying to make.

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