Straw Noodle Prawns in a Sweet Ginger Dip

Prawns are a popular feature in japanese cooking. Rarely are they more delicious than when wrapped in crispy noodles.


serves 4 - 6
75 g (3 oz) somen noodles or vermicelli
3 sheets nori
12 large raw prawn tails, peeled and deveined
vegetable oil, for deep-frying

for the dipping sauce

90 ml (6 tbsp) soy sauce
30 ml (2 tbsp) sugar
2 cm (3/4 in fresh root ginger, grated


1. Cover the somen noodles, if using, with boiling water and leave to soak for 1-2 minutes. Drain and dry thoroughly with kitchen paper. Cut the noodles into 7.5 cm (3 in) lengths. If using vermicelli, cover with boiling water and leave to soak for 1 —2 minutes to soften. Drain and set aside. Cut the nori into 1 x 5cm/1/2 x 2in strips and aside.

2. To make the dipping sauce, bring the soy sauce to the boil in a small saucepan with the sugar and ginger. Simmer for 2 - 3 minutes, strain and set aside to cool.

3. Line up the noodles or vermicelli on a wooden board. Straighten each prawn by pushing a bamboo skewer through its length. Roll the prawn in the noodles or vermicelli so that they adhere in neat strands.

4. Moisten one end of the nori strips and secure the noodles at the fat end of each prawn. Set aside.

5. Heat the vegetable oil in a preheated wok with a wire draining rack or in a deep-fryer to 180°C/350°F. Fry the prawns in the oil, two at a time, until the noodles or vermicelli are crisp and golden.

6. To finish, cut through the band of nori with a sharp knife, exposing a clean section of prawn. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with the dipping sauce in a small dish.

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