Thai noodles with cinnamon and prawns

Serves 2


  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3cm piece (15g) fresh ginger, peeled and cut into fine matchsticks
  • 1 star anise
  • ½ long or 1 short stick cinnamon, broken into shards
  • 2–3 leafy stems at the top of 1 stick celery (see Intro), stems cut into short lengths, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1½ x 15ml tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon oyster sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 100ml cold water
  • 1 teaspoon chicken stock concentrate
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon ketjap manis, or 1 x 15ml
  • tablespoon dark soy sauce mixed with 1 tablespoon soft dark brown sugar
  • 10 raw peeled king prawns, thawed if frozen
  • 80g mung bean (glass) noodles or rice vermicelli, soaked and drained as per packet instructions
  • fat pinch ground cinnamon
  • fat pinch ground cloves


  1. On a high heat, heat the oil in a large wok. Add the garlic, ginger, star anise, cinnamon and the sliced leafy stems of celery, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  2. Stir in both soy sauces and leave to simmer for 30 seconds, then stir in the oyster sauce and ground pepper.
  3. Add the water, followed by the chicken stock concentrate and the ketjap manis (or the mixture of dark soy sauce with soft brown sugar), stir until everything’s well
    combined and bring to the boil.
  4. Now add the king prawns, immersing them in the liquid. Simmer until the prawns are cooked through.
  5. Finally, add the drained noodles and stir well – I find a couple of pasta forks, one in each hand, best for this – so that everything is combined, and most of the dark liquid is absorbed. Add the pinches of ground cinnamon and cloves, stir again, and if you’re not serving straight from the wok, decant into a serving bowl, and sprinkle with the reserved chopped celery leaves.