Rugby Recipes: Penang prawn curry with fragrant steamed jasmine rice

As we continue to diversify our content here at The Rugby Blog, we are pleased to have teamed up with sporty chef, Kate Percy, to bring you a number of recipes designed for rugby players. This recipe is for muscle recovery, and we’ll be bringing you one for endurance next week.

This recipe is good to eat to help muscles recover after a big workout – the jasmine rice has a high GI – that’s quick-release carbohydrates to replenish your glycogen stores as fast as possible – and the curry is full of nutrients to help your bones replace lost salts and reduce muscle inflammation.

Thai curries are quick, easy, healthy and really delicious. The trick to a Thai curry is to create the perfect harmony of heat, salt, sweet and sour by using a basic mix of coconut milk, fish sauce, curry
paste, chilli, lime and sugar. You can make your own curry paste if you have the time and the inclination, but really good readymade pastes are available in the shops.

If you have an Asian store nearby, you will find the ingredients will be cheaper and very authentic, but you should find everything you need in your local supermarket too. This curry is absolutely crammed with nutrition – peanuts, prawns, green and red vegetables and basil. What’s more, the aromas are so tempting, you’ll want to eat it straight away.

Ingredients: Serves 2

125g Thai jasmine rice
250g uncooked, peeled prawns
500ml coconut milk
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp shaved palm sugar or brown sugar
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
2 red fresh chillis, deseeded and cut into strips
2 handfuls sugar snap peas
1 tbsp unsalted peanuts, ground in the blender, or use crunchy peanut butter
8 kaffir lime leaves, torn into strips
A squeeze of lime juice
2 large handfuls Thai basil leaves (use European variety if you cannot get hold of Thai basil)
2 tbs (50g) Penang curry paste (use red curry as an alternative)


1. Prepare the jasmine rice. Rinse in cold water and then add 300 ml water (enough to cover the rice by ½ inch, or to the first joint of your middle finger) to the rice. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, bring to the boil and simmer for 7-10 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed. Turn off the heat and leave for 4-5 minutes. Uncover the pan and fluff up the rice to serve. It is authentic not to use salted water – the rice is a completely plain accompaniment to the curry.

2. Heat half the coconut milk in a wok or large frying pan until boiling and add 2 tbsp of the curry paste. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring all the time, until fragrant.

3. Add the fish sauce and palm sugar and stir, then add the peanuts and the rest of the coconut milk and fry for a minute or two.

4. Add the peas, prawns, red pepper, the kaffir lime leaves, a squeeze of lime juice and one of the chillis and simmer for a few minutes until the prawns are pink and the vegetables are just cooked.

5. Taste for seasoning – add more chilli if you need more heat, or perhaps more fish sauce, some lime juice or sugar – try to get a balance that suits your taste.

6. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the basil leaves and the remaining chilli

7. Serve with the rice and some nam pla prik (bowl of fish sauce with chopped fresh chillis added to it)

Nutrition per serving
Energy (kcal) 785
Protein (g) 50
Carbohydrate (g) 92
Fat (g) 27
– Of which sugars (g) 30
– Of which saturates (g) 9
Salt (g) 6
Fibre (g) 4

To make your own curry paste:
Dry fry 4 dried chillis, 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, ½ tsp black peppercorns in a pan for 3 minutes, until you can smell the fragrant aroma of the spices. Then pop into blender with 3 shallots, 2 cloves garlic, tender part of 2 lemongrass stalks, 1cm fresh galangal (or ginger), 4 tbs fresh coriander root, 4 kaffir limes, ½ tsp dried shrimp paste, 1 tbs peanuts, 2 tbs water. Whizz until smooth. Quantities do not have to be too exact.

About Kate Percy:
As an experienced marathon runner and cook, Kate is passionate about the link between healthy eating and better athletic performance. Her work has been published in specialist sports magazines, the national press and on sports websites and her new book, Go Faster Food, offers advice on how to to eat for optimal training, endurance and recovery and puts nutritional theory into good practice with hundreds of delicious, imaginative and energy-boosting recipes. Go Faster Food, published by Vermilion, is available from Amazon and on Kate’s website

4 thoughts on “Rugby Recipes: Penang prawn curry with fragrant steamed jasmine rice

  1. My, how times are changing. My rugby diet plan used to comprise toast and barbecue super-noodles pre-game, and ten pints of Guinness and a vindaloo afterwards.

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