Purple noodles are made from soaking the rice with butterfly pea flowers, extracting its wonderful vibrant colour.
- 2 tbspmung beans, soaked in water overnight
- 200 gIberico pork neck, finely sliced
- 6medium tiger prawns, peeled and deveined
- 2 tbspvegetable oil
- 2 cupsyoung green rice flakes, deep fried
- 4fresh purple rice noodle sheets (see note)
- 8fried prawn crackers
- 2 tbspspring onion oil (see note)
- 1long fresh red chilli, cut into julienne
- 2 tbspfish sauce
- 2 tbspvegetable oil
- 1lemongrass stalk, white part only, diced
- 1garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1red Asian shallot, diced
- 1 tsp5 spice powder
- 1 tspsugar
- Generous pinch of salt and pepper
- 200 gsmall tiger prawns, peeled and deveined
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 60 ml(¼ cup) fish sauce
- 60 ml(¼ cup) rice vinegar
- 2 tbspwhite sugar
- 125 ml(½ cup water)
- 2garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1red birds eye chilli, finely chopped
- 2 tbsplime juice
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time: 30 minutes
Soaking time: overnight
Drain the soaked mung beans. Line a metal or bamboo steamer with baking paper and punch a few small holes in the paper. Place the mung beans in the steamer and cover with the lid. Set the steamer over a wok or saucepan of rapidly boiling water and steam the beans for 15 minutes or until soft. Remove and set aside.
For the marinade, place all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir until well combined.
Place the pork and prawns in 2 separate mixing bowls. Divide the marinade between the bowls, stir to coat, then stand for 30 minutes.
To make the prawn floss, bring a small saucepan of water to the boil, add the prawns and cook for 5 minutes. Drain. Pound the cooked prawns using a mortar and pestle until finely crushed. Put a frying pan over low heat and add the crushed prawns. Cook, stirring continuously for 10 minutes or until the prawns are completely dry and stringy. Turn off the heat, add a pinch each of salt and pepper and continue to stir in the pan for another 3 minutes. Set aside.
For the nuoc cham, place the fish sauce, vinegar, sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to just below boiling point, then set aside to cool. Stir in the garlic, chilli and lime juice. Makes 1 cup.
Place 2 heavy-based frying pans over medium-high heat. Pour 1 tablespoon vegetable oil into each pan. Stir-fry the pork in one pan for 3 minutes or until just cooked through and the prawns in the other pan for 1 minute on each side. Remove them both from the pan and cut into small pieces.
Scatter the deep-fried crisp green rice flakes over the bottom of a rectangular platter, making a nice even bed. Cut the rice noodles into the shape of each prawn cracker, then place one rice noodle round on top of each prawn cracker. Line the crackers along the platter, then evenly distribute the pork, prawns and mung beans onto each cracker.
Spoon 1 tsp nuoc cham onto each cracker, followed by 1 tsp spring onion oil. Sprinkle with prawn floss, then garnish with julienned chilli and serve immediately.
• Purple noodles are made from soaking the rice with butterfly pea flowers, extracting its wonderful vibrant colour. If you can’t find them then use regular fresh white rice noodle sheets instead. Available from Asian grocers.
• For spring onion oil, place 250 ml 1 (cup) vegetable oil and the thinly sliced green tops of 6-8 spring onions in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 2 minutes or until the oil just starts to simmer. Stir in 2 tbsp fish sauce, remove from the heat and stand until cool.
• The nuoc cham will make more than you need but keeps well in the refrigerator for up 2 weeks.