New Style Goong Che Nam Pa (or Laotian Prawn Carpaccio)

I would like to share with you the recipe for one of my Signature Dishes. :cheerful:

.This dish has been on my menu since the beginning of my culinary adventure in Spain, and remains our most ordered Starter.

The translation of “Goong Che Nam Pa” would be “Fish Sauce Soaked Prawns”, which doesn’t sound so inviting to the palate! In fact the prawns are not marinated in purely Fish Sauce!, that would be far too salty, instead they are soused in a special salty-sweet-sour dressing.

The traditional version of this dish has the prawns butterflied, briefly marinated and served with various condiments. To make it more adaptable to our diners palates I decided to have the prawns served paper thin, similar to a Carpaccio and added new condiments that would complement the interesting and natural sweetness of the prawns.

There are various stages of preparation and method required for this dish, but do not be put off by the long list of ingredients and instructions. Once everything has been made, it only takes a few minutes to get the dish ready for serving. Every component can be made in advance and kept frozen or chilled until needed.

The recipe is for five servings, though the recipes for the Dressing and Crystal Shallots will produce far more than what is needed, however these can be stored in the fridge, the Sauce for ten days and the Crystal Shallots for up to three weeks.

.

Step One, the Prawn Sheets

You will need:

  • 12 Large Fresh Prawns
  • 1 Zip Lock Bag
  • Lime Juice

.

Because this dish will be served raw it is important to use the freshest prawns.

Remove the heads and shells then devein the prawns and wash in three changes of iced water to which a few drops of lime juice has been added.

Place the cleaned prawns in a Zip Lock Bag then expel any trapped air. At the restaurant we use Sous Vide Bags (Vacuum Pouches).

.

Flat1

.

Gently pound with a rolling pin until the prawns are flattened.

.

Flat2

.

Place in the freezer for a minimum of one hour making sure that the Zip Lock Bag remains flat.

.

Step Two, the “Nam Pa” Dressing

You will need:

  • 110ml Mineral Water
  • 5½ Tablespoons of Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of MSG, or use finely ground Sea Salt
  • 200ml Freshly squeezed Lime Juice (strained, no pulp)
  • 200ml Fish Sauce
  • 5 Crushed Garlic Cloves
  • Few stems of Cilantro, bruised
  • Torn Cilantro Leaves

.

Method:

Heat the water until just warmed enough to dissolve the sugar and MSG. Allow to cool.

Add everything else and allow to sit for a few hours in the fridge to allow the ingredients to get to know each other.

Strain in to a bottle and keep chilled until needed.

.

Sauce1

.

Sauce2

.

Step Three, the Crystal Shallots

These are called Crystal Shallots because they are crunchy (crystallized).

You will need:

  • 500g Shallots
  • Oil for frying (we use Sunflower Oil, but you can use any bland frying oil)

.

Method:

Peel then thinly slice the shallots.

.

Shallots1

.

Whilst you are cutting the shallots put the already sliced ones on paper towels to allow some of the moisture to be drawn out, this will help them “crisp up” better.

In a Deep Fryer or large pan bring the oil to 175ºC then carefully add the shallots in batches.

The secret to making crispy Crystal Shallots is to make sure that you “allow them to swim in the oil” and move around, which means constant stirring and not overloading the fryer or pan.

.

Shallots2

.

When the shallots are a light golden brown remove them from the oil and drain on paper towels.

It is important to do this before they reach a dark brown otherwise they will become bitter, remember, like all foods they will keep on cooking for a short time when removed from the heat.

.

Shallots3

.

Once all of the shallots are fried, allow the oil to completely cool and place the crispy shallots in a container covered with some of the oil. Any remaining oil (which we call Shallot Oil) can be used for regular cooking and will have a nice toasted shallot aroma.

Keep chilled until needed.

.

Shallots4

.

Step Four, the Presentation

Presentation and plating are pretty simple once you have all of the above ready.

(Getting things ready in the kitchen is called “Mis en Place” which is French for “Set in Place”).

.

For five servings you will need:

  • The Prawn Sheets
  • Nam Pa Dressing
  • Crystal Shallots
  • Chopped Red Chillies
  • Chopped Chives
  • Chopped Cilantro Leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon of Trout “Caviar”
  • Slivers of Garlic (optional)

.

Method:

Cut the prawn sheets in to five portions through the Zip Lock Bag. Peel away the plastic and place the prawn sheets on to your serving dishes. Allow to defrost on the plate, which will take a matter of minutes.

Drizzle some Nam Pa Dressing over the prawns then spoon on some of the Crystal Shallots and a little of the Shallot Oil.

Add the rest of the ingredients and serve immediately with a nice bottle of something special. Enjoy. :biggrin:

.

Finished2

.

Notes:

You can make up many Prawn Sheets and keep them frozen well ahead of time.

Crystal Shallots are great in many other dishes too, try them mixed in with any kind of Larb, or use them to top grilled rare Steaks or in a steaming bowl of Pho.

The Shallot Oil is great for use in cooking Fried Rice or Vegetables.

The Nam Pa Dressing can also be used with any other form of Carpaccio and goes extremely well with thin slices of raw white fish. Just make sure that any type of fish you use is very fresh, tell your Fishmonger that you want Sushi Grade fish for these types of dishes.

.

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “New Style Goong Che Nam Pa (or Laotian Prawn Carpaccio)

  1. Hola Boui, adding we also sometiems add ginger and make other variations of the sauce, its so tasty it can be added to nearly anything! :biggrin:

  2. we call this goong theng “dancing shrimp” usually all my male friends would make this as a side or starter for a long night of drinking and bbq.  we usually add lemon grass and ginger, stick it in the freezer and squeeze a little bit of lime before we eat. muy bueno!

  3. Pingback: laocook » Blog Archive » Tasting Menu October 2009

  4. Pingback: laocook » Blog Archive » Noodles in an Instant

  5. hi this has nothing to do with a dish on your blog but i have a quesetion iv’e been trying to figure out. how do you make pa dek with crab in it?

  6. Pingback: laocook » Blog Archive » Autumn Begins

  7. Pingback: My Move. Checkmate! : Laocook

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s