Delicious fusion of Italian risotto and Thai flavours...it shouldn't work but it does!
250g arborio (risotto) rice
1/2 litre fish stock
1 pack of frozen raw king prawns (defrosted)
Handful of Thai basil
1/4 cucumber, chopped into 1/2 cm cubes
4 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
1 red chilli (de-seeded) (note..use 2 if you want a hotter version)
150g small chestnut mushrooms, chopped into quarters
2 lemon grass sticks
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsps fish sauce
100 ml white wine
Start by making the stock. Use a fish stock cube with 1/2 litre of boiling water. Add the fish sauce, the lemon grass and half the Thai basil. Leave to infuse for about one hour
When the stock has infused, remove the basil and the lemongrass, placing the lemongrass in a deep saucepan with the crushed garlic cloves, chilli and the olive oil.
Bring the oil up to heat and cook off the garlic and chilli for about 2 minutes. Remove the lemongrass at this stage and discard.
Add the mushrooms, chopped spring onions, and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the cucumber and the rice into the saucepan, and the white wine, allowing the wine to come to the boil to boil off the alcohol.
Add the stock (I do it all at once but some prefer to add a little at a time). Simmer gently for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add the prawns in now and stir in well.
Simmer for a further 5 minutes or so until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is creamy and smooth. Add a couple of teaspoons of chopped Thai basil in at this stage.
Take off the heat and allow to cool for two minutes (the rice will continue to absorb the liquid if there's any left over so don't worry, and if it's too dry, just add a little water before this stage)
Serve with a fresh green salad which doesn't compete with the subtle Thai flavouring, and enjoy this fusion of Europe and Asia