Kæng kûng kạb s̄ạbpard (Prawn Curry with Pineapple)

  • 1 lb (450 g) uncooked fresh or frozen tiger prawns in their shells
  • 1 lb (450 g) fresh pineapple, cut into ¾ inch (2 cm) chunks
  • 2 x 400 ml tins or an equivalent volume of  coconut milk

For the curry paste:
  • 4 dried red chillies, soaked with the juice and zest of 1 lime for 30 minutes
  • 1 level tablespoon lemon grass, finely chopped
  • 1 inch (2.5 cm) cube fresh galangal. Please note that ginger has a totally different flavour and if used will produce a good product but not the same taste.
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 7 Thai shallots, peeled (or normal shallots if not available)
  • 1 level teaspoon shrimp paste (if not available use 2 anchovies)
  • ½ level teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
  • 2 keffir lime leaves

  1. If the tiger prawns are frozen, you can safely defrost and refreeze the remainder by allowing them to defrost in the refrigerator. This may take a full day so best to begin the process overnight. Refreeze the remainder immediately. If you have just enough frozen to use then defrost the prawns in a colander. This will take about an hour.
  2. Cook the prawns in a wok with fairly continuous stirring over a high heat. The colour will change to various shades of salmon. About 3 to 4minutes.
  3. At this stage it is up to you whether you peel the prawn or not. Now keep them covered and refrigerated until you need them. 
  4. You can make the curry paste by mixing all the ingredients in a food processor. Process into a fairly coarse paste. The other option is to pound the ingredients with a pestle in a mortar. A little laborious but produces a noticeably better curry flavour. This curry paste is called Nam Phrik Kaeng Khua and is used extensively in Thai dishes such as Tom Yum Kung etc.
  5. To make the curry, empty the contents of the tins of coconut milk and the curry paste into a wok and stir while you bring it up to the boil, then boil until the oil begins to separate from the solids. This will take about 20 minutes. 
  6. Add the prawns and the pineapple and let them heat through gently for another 2 minutes. Serve the curry with some finely shredded lime leaves and chillie slices sprinkled over, with some steamed Jasmine rice