This is definitely one such dish. All the elements are prepared simply, better to showcase their natural harmony and the awesome flavours. If getting hold of langoustine is a hassle, feel free to use large, fresh prawns instead.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 4 langoustines
  • Small bunch of asparagus (roughly 100g)
  • For the puree:
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 100g watercress
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 kefir lime leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut or rapeseed oil
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp Thai fish sauce
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped coriander (leaves and stalks)
  • 1/2 lemongrass stalks, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon green peppercorns, crushed

For the wonton

  • 2 wonton wrappers
  • 2 langoustines
  • 1/2 lime, zest only
  • 1 teaspoon of roughly chopped coriander leaves

Method

Begin with the puree – heat the coconut or rapeseed oil in a saucepan to medium-high heat
Once hot, add the onion and a large pinch of salt
Cook until the onion is starting to turn golden and add the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, lemongrass, peppercorns and kefir lime leaves
Prep the asparagus, by cutting off the ‘woody’ bottom of each stalk and adding them to the sauce pan
Keep the rest of the stalks for later
After one minute, pour in the coconut milk and fish sauce, then simmer for 15-20 minutes for the flavours to come together and for the liquid to reduce
Add the lime juice and the watercress
Once the watercress has wilted into the sauce but is still bright and green, add the coriander, then strain the sauce
Pour the contents of the strainer/sieve into a blender and mix, adding just enough of the spicy coconut mixture to turn it into a smooth and thick puree
Season to taste and keep warm
Now cook the langoustines (all 6) by boiling in salted water (1 tablespoon of salt per litre of water) for 4-5 minutes
Check whether they are cooked by looking at the underside of the tail. The flesh should be opaque and milky white – translucent flesh means they are undercooked
Plunge them into cold (ideally running) water
Once they’re cool enough to handle, peel them by tearing the tail and using kitchen scissors to cut the underside of the shell open
Remove from the shell and pull out the gastro-intestinal tract (the black line on the back)
Chop half of them up (not too finely) and mix with the lime zest, coriander and a pinch of salt
Get the wonton wrappers ready (they dry out quickly, so keep them covered with cling film)
Place a teaspoon of the filling in the wrapper, dab the edges with water and fold together
These can be done up to an hour ahead and kept in the fridge
This will give you the time to cook the asparagus – fry in a griddle pan for 2-3 minutes on a really high heat, to get those lovely scorch marks
Warm up the whole langoustines in the melted butter, at a low heat, to avoid overcooking it
Start arranging everything on 2 (ideally warmed) plates
Deep fry the wontons at 190C for 1 minute, until golden and crunchy and arrange on your plates
Enjoy!