I finally went this weekend and bought a couple calendars. One for the kitchen and one for work. The kitchen one was appropriately all about (hot) peppers. Although there were a couple other food related ones, I picked the chili pepper one as it had recipes for each month. Flipping through there are quite a few that I want to make. These two recipes are just the start.

The shrimp were quite good, but didn’t seem as hot as I expected. I used fresh green peppercorns (opposed to their brined) and they can be quite pungent and strong. It was also quite saucy and would have been excellent on rice. I served with salad tossed in a quick, homemade sesame vinaigrette and the quick pickled gingered cucumbers.

I loved the quick pickles and they were quite “pickle’y” for only sitting for an hour.


Green Peppercorn Prawns


  • 2 lbs prawns peeled and devained (or fresh calamari rings)
  • 2 tbsp fresh peppercorns mostly crushed with mortar and pestal
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp ginger peeled and grated
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup shallots diced
  • 6-8 kaffir lime leaves sliced thin (or 2 tsp lime zest)
  • 3 plum tomatoes cored and diced
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp canola oil


  • Combine the soy sauce, fish sauce and oyster sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Place prawns in a bowl with the lime juice and crushed peppercorns, toss to mix, and set aside.
  • Put the garlic, ginger, and shallots together in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Put the tomatoes, kaffir leaves (or lime zest) and chili flakes in another bowl and set aside.
  • Heat the canola oil in a wok on high heat.
  • Add the garlic/ginger/shallots and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomato mix bowl and saute for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the sauce mix and prawns and saute until the prawns are pink and cooked through.
  • Garnish with cilantro if preferred, give a squeeze of lime, and serve.
Quick Pickled Cucumbers

Gingered Cucumbers


  • 1/2 large English cucumber 1 cup worth, peeled and cut into 1/4" x 2" strips
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ginger peeled and grated
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp sugar Or 1/2 tsp Stevia
  • 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil


  • Take the 2 tsp of salt and sprinkle over the cucumbers, set in a bowl and put aside for half to one hour.
  • Mix the other ingredients in a bowl.
  • Drain the cucumbers, squeeze gently to extract liquid and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Put in bowl with dressing and toss to coat.
  • Set aside for about 20 minutes at room temperature / 1 hour in the fridge.


I like cold pickles / cucumbers, so marinated longer in the fridge, rather than their recommended 20 minutes at room temp.

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