How to make citrus and prawn Thai massaman curry with spring greens

Spring greens are a wonderful seasonal ingredient that can be used in all sorts of ways.

Spring greens are simply young cabbage plants, so no wonder they’re so tender. They can be used in all sorts of things — including one of my favourites, a speedy mid-week supper of chicken.

Hammer chicken breasts to tenderise them, scatter them with dried herbs and garlic granules and season well. Pan fry in butter and olive oil until browned and cooked through. Add a splash of white wine and a squeeze of lemon. Deglaze the pan and reduce by half before sprinkling with caper berries. Then simply steam some spring greens and drizzle over olive oil, grated fresh garlic and seasoning, and serve alongside the chicken and some butter parsley potatoes.

Delicious, quick and simple, but spring greens can also play a part in fancier fare, as with this recipe below.

Recipe: Citrus and prawn Thai massaman curry with spring greens


Serves 4

  • 12 large raw head-on prawns
  • 2 banana shallots, sliced
  • 3tbspn massaman curry paste
  • 1 x 400ml can coconut milk
  • 200ml vegetable stock
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 dried red chilli or 1 tspn chilli flakes
  • 1tbspn tamarind
  • 1tbspn soft brown sugar
  • 1tbspn fish sauce
  • ½tspn ground cinnamon
  • 75g green beans, trimmed
  • 125g spring greens, thinly sliced
  • 1 blood orange (or normal orange), juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Handful of fresh Thai basil, torn or chopped
  • Jasmine rice, lime and orange to serve


Heat a wok and add a splash of neutral oil. Cut off the prawn heads and gently char in the pan. Add the sliced shallots and curry paste and fry for a few minutes to release the flavours. Pour over the coconut milk and stock and then add the kaffir leaves, chilli, tamarind, sugar, fish sauce and cinnamon. Leave to simmer gently for half an hour. If the liquid reduces too much, simply add water. Pass the liquid through a fine mesh sieve and discard the prawn heads, the shallots and the lime leaves.

Return the velvety curry sauce to the wok and add the green beans and spring greens, then simmer for a few minutes until cooked. Peel the prawns and add them to the sauce. The prawns will only need a few minutes to cook. When they are pink, squeeze over lime and orange juice and add the basil.

Prepare jasmine rice as per the packet instructions and serve the curry with slices of lime and orange on the side.