Diana Chan - Crayfish
in a Thai Broth
12 cherry tomatoes
Thai Seafood Broth
10 prawn heads
4 lemongrass stalks
3 tbsp coconut oil
5cm piece galangal, sliced
5cm ginger, sliced
4 shallots, thinly sliced
2 red chillies, chopped
2 birds eye chillies, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1L chicken stock
2 tbsp tamarind purée
10 kaffir lime leaves
juice of 3 limes
4 tbsp coconut milk powder
Salt, to taste
Crispy Ikan Bilis
¼ cup ikan bilis
Oil, for deep frying
1 large whole crayfish
Kaffir Lime oil
1cup kaffir lime leaves
1 cup oil
Kaffir lime leaf, finely shredded
- Pre-heat oven to 180C.
- For the Roasted Tomatoes, place the tomatoes on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place in the pre-heated oven and roast until tomatoes start to soften, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside, keeping warm, until ready to serve.
- For the Thai Seafood Broth, place prawn heads onto a small baking tray lined with baking paper. Roast in the pre-heated oven until dry and golden, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, finely slice the white part of lemongrass stalks and reserve the tops. Set aside until needed.
- Place the coconut oil into a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Once coconut oil has melted, add lemongrass tops, galangal, ginger, shallots, chillies and garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add clams and mussels and stir until well coated.
- Add chicken stock, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add lime juice and tamarind purée then remove the saucepan from the heat. Strain the broth through a fine sieve, discarding the solids. Transfer the liquid into a clean, medium saucepan. Add the roasted prawn heads and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add coconut milk powder and stir to dissolve. Season to taste then strain through a fine sieve lined with muslin cloth. Discard the solids and transfer the liquid to a clean saucepan, cover and set aside until needed.
- For the Crispy Ikan Bilis, place oil into a small saucepan to half fill. Place over medium heat and heat to 180C.
- Add ikan bilis and fry until crispy, about 30 seconds. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel. Place half the Crispy Ikan Bilis into a mortar and pestle and grind into rough crumbs. Set aside until ready to serve. Reserve whole pieces of Crispy Ikan Bilis for serving.
- For the Kaffir Lime Oil, bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Add kaffir lime leaves and blanch for 30 seconds then refresh in a bowl of iced water.
- Remove the leaves from the iced water, dry on paper towel and place into a blender. Blitz on high speed and gradually add oil, continuing to blend until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve lined with muslin cloth. Gather up the edges of the muslin and loosely twist. Press down to extract the oil. Transfer the Kaffir Lime Oil to a pouring jug and set aside until ready to serve.
- For the Crayfish, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Prepare a large ice bath.
- Place the crayfish in the pot of boiling water and cook until the shell turns bright red, about 3 minutes. Remove from water and place into the ice bath. Once cooled, remove the head and using a pair of scissors, cut either side under the tail, then gently remove the tail meat in one piece.
- Heat the butter in a medium frypan over a low heat, add crayfish tail and cook, gently basting with melted butter until the meat turns just opaque, about 2 – 3 minutes.
- Remove crayfish from pan and slice into 8-12 slices (depending on the size). Season to taste with salt and set aside, keeping warm, until ready to serve.
- To serve, reheat Thai Seafood Broth until boiling then transfer to a large serving jug. Place 3 tomatoes on the bottom of each serving bowl. Add 2-3 pieces of crayfish to each bowl and top with watercress leaves. Sprinkle with crushed Crispy Ikan Bilis and shredded kaffir lime leaves. Pour over hot Thai Seafood Broth and add a few drops of Kaffir Lime Oil to each plate. Serve with whole Crispy Ikan Bilis in a small bowl on the side.