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Prawn, Pea and Mint Risotto

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Both prawns and peas share a common affinity with mint and in this delicately flavoured risotto the harmonies are blended to produce an attractive, nourishing and quickly prepared meal. The ingredients shown are sufficient for 4 to 5 people as a main course. This dish can also be presented as a starter (hot or cold) where the amounts shown would be sufficient for 8 to 10. Preparation and cooking time is less than 1 hour.



2 tablespoons (30ml) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large onion, about 220g (1/2 lb) finely chopped
1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped
200g (about 8oz) frozen or fresh peas
440g (about 12oz) fresh or defrosted frozen medium to large size shelled prawns
2 tablespoons (30ml) fish sauce (Nuk Nam, Ca Sac etc.)
1 level teaspoon salt
440ml (15 fl oz, 3/4 pint) basmati, long grain or risotto rice
2 heaped tablespoons (50ml) finely chopped and pulverised fresh mint
A pinch of ground pepper or to taste
550ml (1 pint) hot vegetable stock from powder or freshly made (we use Knorr powder)
OPTIONAL: 4 to 6 medium size button mushrooms, chopped



NOTE: different rice varieties adsorb different amounts of liquid and at different rates. We used basmati rice. If using risotto rice you may need slightly more liquid to achieve the authentic "stodgy" consistency of risotto.

Prepare all the ingredients. Wash the rice and put to soak in 2 pints of water for 15 - 20 minutes.

Whilst the rice is soaking, heat the oil in a large, deep casserole, preferably one made with a heavy lid. Gently fry the onions and garlic for about 5 - 10 minutes until the onions are transparent. Add the peas. Cook for long enough for the peas to defrost if frozen plus 2 minutes. Add the prawns and optionally the mushrooms if used. Make sure that the prawns are thoroughly defrosted before use.

Stir and fry the mixture at medium heat for another 1 minute whilst making the hot stock. Add the rice and continue frying and stirring for another minute.

Add the stock and fish sauce, stir and bring to a simmer. Add the mint and pepper.

Stir gently to thoroughly mix, cover and cook over a low heat for 20 minutes. Open the pan and mix.

If serving hot allow to stand for 5 minutes. If serving cold, make sure that the dish is well covered and if made well in advance keep in refrigerator after cooling.

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Updated 9/8/2007