When guests staying at the spectacular Hilton Ngapali Resort & Spa on Myanmar’s west coast ask to see where their next meal is coming from, the hotel’s Executive Chef Mynt Tun takes them to the early morning fish markets.
Picking out our dinner right on the beach, pulled fresh from a fleet of colourful fishing boats, there’s huge tuna, barracuda and stingray competing with the juicy prawns and fresh-as-the-sea calamari on offer.
For the StarfishCatch of the Day, talented Mynt Tun chooses to serve up his signature fragrant prawn curry with Myanmar’s typical fusion of Asian herbs and spices.
Beside the hotel’s infinity pool, looking out over the Bay of Bengal, he sets up his chef’s station to show us how his turmeric and lemongrass infused dish pulls together in a matter of minutes and tastes seriously delish!
Base curry paste
50gms minced garlic
25gms minced ginger
250g chopped onions.
Steam these ingredients in a wire sieve over gently boiling water until soft and then whiz into a smooth paste in a food processor.
Extra ingredients to your taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Couple of whole curry leaves
1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
1-2 teaspoons Masala powder
Two stalks chopped Lemongrass
1-2 Green Chillies cut in rounds
1 bunch chopped Thai Basil
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2-3 teaspoons Chicken stock powder
4 tablespoons chopped fresh tomatoes
4 squeezed Lime cheeks
1/2 cup water
10-12 large Tiger prawns
Prepare a hot wok or deep pan.
Heat oil and fry up the curry paste base, adding ½ a teaspoon of turmeric, the masala powder and whole curry leaves to release their fragrance.
Next, add the lemongrass, tomatoes, half the bunch of basil, the salt and one teaspoon of chicken stock powder.
In a separate bowl sprinkle the prawns with lime juice, another teaspoon of chicken stock powder and 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and mix together with your hands.
Add 1/4 cup of water to the sizzling curry paste. It will reduce quickly.
Add the prawns and the rest of the water to the pan and coat in the curry sauce. Squeeze the limes cheeks into the dish. Cook on medium to high heat until prawns are orangey/pink and cooked through on one side. Flip prawns and cook for a further two minutes.
Serve for two with steamed rice and extra lime and garnish with fresh basil and coriander.
Picures and words by Leigh Reinhold and Emma Thomas @Reviews Abroad
The writers stayed as guests of The Hilton Resorts & Spa