When you think of food in Germany you think of schnitzel, bockwurst, currywurst, bratwurst, sauerkraut... but combine this with some of Berlin’s various communities – Vietnamese, Turkish, Italian, Arabic (to name a few) – and Berlin becomes a wonderful melting pot of diverse food and tastes.
One of my favourite styles of cooking in Berlin is Thai/ Vietnamese food. Finding fresh spices and herbs in a Berlin supermarket can be quite limited, but the great thing about Berlin is that there are plenty of local Asian stores to choose from. I often stop by Asia Mekong where they have a store located at both Alexanderplatz and Hackescher Markt. You can pick up a vast array of fresh herbs, dried spices and fruit and vegetables for a good price.
Asian food is healthy, light and refreshing when cooked properly. It is also quick and easy making this a perfect dish for a busy week. Any meal that requires only one pan is a winner for me. Ditch that take out and get cooking your own Thai Red Prawn Curry.
Ingredients: (serves 4)
For the Thai red curry paste:
3 thin slices fresh galangal, or fresh ginger (finely chopped)
2 lemon grass stalks (trimmed and finely chopped)
3 small red chillies (de-seeded and finely chopped)
3 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 tspn fish sauce
1 tbspn dark soy sauce
1 tbspn ground cumin
2 tbpsn red paprika
Juice of 1 lime
Handful of fresh coriander
For the curry:
1 400g tin coconut milk
Handful of prawns (if you can find fresh uncooked prawns in Berlin then defrost and cook accordingly. I usually pick up a pack of already cooked prawns from a local German supermarket)
Handful of cherry tomatoes (each cut in half)
1 red pepper (roughly chopped)
2 tbpsn tomato puree
Handful of chopped spring onions
Handful of fresh coriander and fresh Thai basil leaves
Juice of half a lime
Olive oil, salt and ground black pepper
To make the paste put everything into a food processor and whizz until it forms a paste. If you do not have a food processor then make sure that the ingredients are finely chopped, add to a mixing bowl with 2 tbspn of olive oil and mix well.
Heat 1 tbspn of olive oil in a large/ deep frying pan or a wok on a medium heat. Add the red peppers with a pinch of salt and cook for a 2-3 minutes. Then add the paste to the pan and stir well. Leave for another 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the tomato puree and then add the coconut milk, mixing everything together.
Add the cherry tomatoes, spring onions, a few basil leaves and small amount of fresh coriander to the pan. Stir in the juice of half a lime and leave to simmer for around 5 minutes still on a medium heat.
Then add the prawns to the pan and if cooking from fresh cook for another 3 minutes. If they are already cooked then this only requires a further 1 minute on a low heat.
Once cooked, take the pan off the hob and stir in some more fresh coriander, basil leaves and ground black pepper.
I serve this with basmati rice and lime wedges on the side.
To get more great recipes, check out A Modern Rose website.