cooking melbourne

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coconut crepes with prawns

Prawns in Coconut Crepes


In Melbourne we are easing into home entertaining again and while some folks may still be a little unsure there is always the outside or the dining with opened doors option now that the weather has warmed up. Here’s a Vietnamese dish that evokes glorious, sunny summer meals in the garden or on the terrace. The addition of turmeric to the coconut crepes gives them a lovely golden hue while a punchy nuoc cham chilli sauce gives the prawns some zing. Pair this dish with a Gewürztraminer; the slight sweetness works extremely well.

In Vietnam a very crispy crepe is preferred for this dish and is best achieved using rice flour. If you want a slightly softer, easily folded crepe you can use half rice flour, half plain flour instead. This recipe is enough for 4 people, two crepes per person, each filled with 3 large prawns.

Nuoc Cham

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 long red chillies
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 25 g coriander roots
  • small clove garlic
  • 2 tbs lime juice

Dissolve the sugar in the warm water. Scrape clean the coriander roots with a sharp knife and roughly chop. Add the coriander, chillies and garlic to a blender and blitz. Add remaining ingredients and combine. Store the sauce in a glass jar with lid. This can be made a day or so in advance and stored in the fridge for up to a week.

Coconut Crepes

makes 8

  • 200 g rice flour
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp ground tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • peanut oil

Mix the turmeric and salt through the flour in a mixing bowl. Add the egg and coconut milk into a well in the centre and gradually work it into the flour with a whisk. Once combined gradually whisk in enough of the water to form a thin batter. 
Cook the crepes on a lightly oiled small crepe pan, adding just enough to leave lacey edges. Cover the cooked crepes with a clean tea towel until ready to assemble.

For the Filling

  • 24 large green prawns, shelled and cleaned
  • peanut oil
  • 1 tbs sesames seeds
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • sliced cucumber, radish or other spring vegetable
  • mint, coriander and basil leaves

Cook the prawns in a hot fry pan with a little peanut oil. Once the prawns just begin to become opaque add the sesame seeds and toss around the prawns for a minute to toast the seeds and allow them to adhere to the prawns. Add the soy sauce and stir until prawns are well coated. Remove from heat. 

To Assemble

Fill one half of each crepe with some vegetables and herbs and then top with 3 prawns, drizzle with a little nuoc cham. Fold over the crepe and serve with remaining nuoc cham in a little serving bowl with spoon.


cooking melbourne • November 18, 2020

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