Prawn Balls and Butternut Noodle Broth

Prawn balls

This recipe is inspired by one of Jamie Oliver’s 30-minute meals. It was the day after my first semester exam for year 1 nutrition and all I wanted to do was veg out in front of the telly. Of course, daytime telly being what it is, the only thing that caught my eye was – of course – the Food Network channel showing vintage Jamie Oliver. I think Jamie Oliver is an absolute inspiration, and although I don’t agree with some of his stances on nutrition, I think overall he’s doing great things for the health of the nation. Besides, whatever he cooks always turns out beautiful, and his recipes ALWAYS work, no matter how simple the ingredients list.

So this was originally an egg noodle soup with loads of green veggies with sticky squid balls and prawns. It looked good and I knew it would be an easy one to paleo-ify. I added more aromatics to the broth, swapped the noodles for spiralised butternut squash, and used whatever green veggies I had in my veg box to keep things seasonal. Although I love the look of the squid balls, I rarely have squid in my freezer, but I always have prawns. I kept the ingredients simple and basic so hopefully there’s nothing new to buy!

Ingredients. Serves 2.

Broth:

  • 750ml chicken or beef stock
  • ½ tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 lemongrass, outer leaves removed and the stalk slightly bashed
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • ½ thumb-length ginger
  • 1 red chilli, slit lengthways to the stalk

Vegetables:

  • Large handful of greens (spring greens, pak choy or kale)
  • ½ broccoli
  • ½ butternut squash (top half, before you hit the seed cavity), peeled

Prawn balls:

  • 250g frozen prawns, defrosted
  • ½ thumb-length ginger, grated
  • 20g coriander stalks (keep the leaves for garnishing)
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 1 lemongrass, chopped
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. tamari or coconut aminos
  • Sesame seeds

Garnish:

  • Coriander leaves (stalks used in the prawn balls), finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • Handful sprouted seeds
  • Lime wedges

Method. Preparation and cooking: 25 minutes.

  1. Place the broth in a medium saucepan on a medium heat and bring to a boil. Add fish sauce, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, ginger and chillies.
  2. While the broth is heating, finely slice the greens and broccoli (you can use a food processor with the slicer attachment) and spiralise the butternut squash (using a spiraliser or julienne peeler).
  3. Add the butternut noodles to the broth, then the broccoli and greens and put a lid on the pan to steam the vegetables through.
  4. Place the prawns, coriander stalks, lemongrass, and sesame oil in the food processor and process to a chunky paste. Mix honey and tamari in a small cup or glass and set aside.
  5. Heat a couple of teaspoons of ghee or coconut oil in a frying pan. Spoon teaspoon-sized balls of the prawn mixture straight into the pan. Once browned on one side, turn them over and pour over the tamari-honey dressing and allow to bubble up and become sticky. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds.
  6. Ladle the vegetables and broth into large warmed bowls, add four or five prawn balls per bowl and garnish with chopped coriander leaves, spring onions, chopped red chillies, sprouted seeds and a wedge of lime.
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