The chilli paste in this recipe is what it’s all about. It’s based on the paste found in the Malaysian dish Chilli Pan Mee and it’s all crispy, funky flavour. You will love it.
I’ve also made this dish with egg noodles and it’s just as delicious but I find rice noodles a little lighter. You could switch out the prawns for mushrooms and a soft boiled or fried egg if you’re vego (and maybe use a pinch of dried seaweed in place of the shrimp paste). You can also use thinly sliced chicken, ground pork or beef in replace of the prawns.
Some bok choy or spinach is also delicious thrown in with the vegetables!
This is by now means traditional, I’ve added miso because I like it’s funky fermented flavour with the funky fermented flavour of the belachan. Belachan is a hard dry shrimp paste that kind of reeks. But tastes delicious. Promise. But it’s pungent so make sure you’ve got good air flow in your kitchen! You can find it at most supermarkets, I got mine at the IGA round the corner and it’s Asian food section is minuscule.
I’ve also used spring onion (I only use the green part yay for fructose issues) instead of shallots but you could use either, you’ll need less shallots as they are more dense. I also cut down the garlic in this recipe and used ginger in the sauce instead. You could go as many as 6 garlic cloves in the chilli paste if you’re a bit of a garlic fiend.
This recipe does involve a generous amount of oil. You will not use all the oil in these two serves. You will not use all the crispy chilli paste you make in this recipe in these 2 serves, it keeps in the fridge for at least a week though. Just pop it in a sealed container. It’s delicious on anything and adds a real hit of flavour to any stir fry. Because it is oily I use it instead of starting with oil. Your making enough for 10-20 serves so it’s not that much oil per serve. Also fat is flavour, flavour makes you happy, so you need to live a little every now and then 😉 However if you can’t be bothered making it you could just by a chill oil, the flavour will not be the same though.
Serves 2 (excluding chilli paste which serves 10+)
Crispy chilli paste
10-12 dried birdseye chillies, stems removed soaked in warm water for an hour
1 cup (loosely packed) spring onion
4 cloves garlic
1/8 tsp belachan paste (optional, if you can’t find it replace with 1/2 tsp fish sauce)
140ml peanut oil
1 tsp miso paste
2 tsp grated ginger
2 Tbs oyster sauce
4 Tbs soy sauce or tamari
1/2 tsp sesame oil
200g rice noodles (I use the thick vermicelli)
300g prawns (weighed with heads and shells attached)
1.5 cups broccoli florets
1 cup snow peas
2 Tbs finely sliced spring onions (to serve)
2 Tbs coriander leaves (to serve)
Place all chilli paste ingredients in a food processor and blend until a loose paste forms. It will be green at this stage. Do not stress. Place a large heavy based fry pan, or a wok, on medium high heat. Once hot add the paste and fry until it turns dark in colour and has got dry and crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Mix together all the sauce ingredients until well combined.
Remove the heads, shells and devein the prawns and place in a bowl with 1 Tbs chilli paste 3 Tbs of the sauce. Toss to coat.
Cook noodles according to packet instructions.
Place the fry pan back on high heat. Add 1 Tbs of the chilli paste and the noodles and toss to coat. Add 2 Tbs of the remaining sauce and toss to coat again. Divide amongst your two bowls and return the pan to the heat.
Add the vegetables along with the remaining sauce and 2 Tbs water. Cook for a couple of minutes or until bright green and remove and place on top of noodles in your bowls.
Return the pan to the heat and add the shrimp, reserve remaining marinade. cook on 1 side for 1 minute, brush the upwards facing side with reserved marinade. Turn and cook for a couple more minutes. Move the prawns around the pan briefly to finish cooking. If your prawns are larger they will need more time. Once cooked, place on top of noodles.
Serve noodle bowls with spring onion and coriander scattered over and extra crispy chilli paste on the side.