Guest Recipe: Ben Chapman's Langoustine, Mint & Kaffir

Self-taught chef Ben is responsible for reigniting London’s love of Thai food, which, it turns out is about so much more than pad Thai and green curry. The chef and founder of critically acclaimed barbecue joint the Smoking Goat has just opened his second Soho hotspot: Kiln prized for its cumin-coated aged lamb skewers and kaffir langoustines. Here’s how to make the dish at home:

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This is a spicy, tart dish which relies on the sweetness of good, fresh langoustine and your extra attention with a sharp knife to very finely slice the chillies and ginger. 

If you cannot find kaffir limes (usually available in Chinatown), then you could simply mix lime with a little lemon and mandarin. Although the result will be quite different it will be delicious.

Go for a lighter Vietmanese-style Phu Quoc fish sauce, more suitable for dressing, to make this dish.

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Ingredients for two people:

6 large live langoustines

Dressing:
25ml kaffir lime juice
25ml lime juice
25g caster sugar
25ml fish sauce (adjust to balance to your taste)
 

Salad:
3 inches of fresh ginger, finely julienned
2 thai shallots, very finely sliced
2 red birds eye chillies, very finely sliced
10-12 torn mint leaves

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Prepare in advance the dressing and salad

Neatly split the langoustine head and then blanch in boiling water for 10 seconds and store on ice until room temp (refresh the ice if needed so as not to allow them to sit in water at any time)

Split the now chilled langoustine head to tail (the flesh should still be translucent, not white)

Add the langoustine to a mixing bowl with the dressing

Quickly add all salad ingredients to the bowl and mix well

Allow the citrus to cure the langoustine, making the dressing a little milky

Heap on a plate and serve.

Words by Ben Chapman, chef and founder of The Smoking Goat and Kiln. The Iris Letter March 2017.