About this recipe:Rice sticks are flat noodles made from rice flour, available from Oriental food stores. With a lighter texture than wheat-flour noodles, they are perfect for stir-fries. Here, fine asparagus, succulent tiger prawns and crunchy water chestnuts are cooked quickly with the tender noodles.
200 g (7 oz) rice sticks
2 tbsp sunflower oil
200 g (7 oz) raw tiger prawns, peeled
3 garlic cloves, cut into fine shreds
1 fresh red chilli, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh root ginger
100 g (3½ oz) extra fine asparagus, cut into 5 cm (2 in) lengths
150 g (5½ oz) trimmed sugarsnap peas, cut into shreds
1 can water chestnuts, about 225 g, drained and halved
4 spring onions, cut into strips
2 tsp ground coriander
4 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp clear honey
1½ tsp cornflour
15 g (½ oz) fresh coriander, finely chopped
fresh coriander to garnish (optional)
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Method Prep:15min › Cook:10min › Ready in:25min
Cook or soak the noodles according to the packet instructions. Drain well and set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok or large frying pan, then stir-fry the prawns for just a few minutes, until they turn from blue-grey to pink. Use a draining spoon to transfer the prawns to a plate.
Add the remaining oil to the wok and heat briefly, then add the garlic, chilli and ginger. Stir for a few seconds to flavour the oil, but take care not to let the flavourings burn.
Toss the asparagus, sugarsnap peas and water chestnuts into the wok. Stir-fry for about 3 minutes or until the asparagus and sugarsnaps start to soften. Add the spring onions and ground coriander and stir to mix.
Mix the fish sauce, honey and cornflour with 2 tbsp water, then pour into the wok and stir gently until boiling and thickened.
Return the prawns to the wok and add the noodles and chopped coriander. Toss gently until the ingredients are evenly combined and everything is hot. Serve immediately, garnished with coriander leaves, if liked.
Use 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts (fillets) instead of the prawns; cut them into thin strips. Instead of the asparagus, sugarsnap peas and water chestnuts, use 1 seeded and diced red pepper, 125 g (4½ oz) sliced baby corn and 1 can bamboo shoots, about 225 g, drained and cut into shreds. Substitute Chinese five-spice powder and fresh basil for the ground and fresh coriander.
Prawns are low in fat, but high in protein. They contain useful amounts of many of the B vitamins, particularly vitamin B12, essential for the formation of red blood cells and for maintaining a healthy nervous system. Prawns are also a good source of the antioxidant selenium.