David Thompson's Little Black Book

David Thompson is the Australian-born chef at nahm in Bangkok. When not in the kitchen, David is also an author, broadcaster and widely acclaimed expert on Thai cuisine.

Prior to opening nahm, David established himself with Darley Street Thai in Sydney, a restaurant that debuted in 1991 and was voted 'Best Thai Restaurant' by the Sydney Morning Herald eight years in a row. David followed this up in 1995 with Sailors & Thai in Sydney Rocks area. nahm London came next, where David secured the first ever Michelin star for Thai cuisine. Nahm was awarded the prestigious World’s 50 Best Restaurants and Asia's 50 Best Restaurants awards organised by the UK’s industry publication, Restaurant Magazine. And is currently sitting at Number 5 in Asias 50 best.



David’s  Long Chim Restaurants




Crunchy prawn cake gung foi tort pae

makes 2 to 3 cakes


  • 4 tablespoons rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons corn flour
  • large pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • water – approximately ½ cup
  • pinch turmeric powder
  • pinch galangal powder
  • pinch ginger powder
  • pinch ground black pepper
  • pinch chilli powder
  1. Combine the flours with the salt and baking soda.  Stir in the water gradually to achieve a batter.
  2. Leave to sit for an hour.
  3. Stir in the dried spices.


  • 1 cup small prawns
  • large sea salt  
  • dash fish sauce
  • pinch white sugar
  1. Clean the prawns, wash and drain very well.
  2. Cover the prawns then stir in the salt, fish sauce and salt to form a brine. Leave to steep for an hour or so.
  3. Drain well.


  • the batter – see
  • drained prawns
  • large pinch coarsely sliced shallots
  • large pinch sliced spring onions
  • large pinch finely sliced lemongrass
  • pinch finely torn curry leaves
  • large pinch shredded Vietnamese mint
  • large pinch chopped long leaf coriander
  • large pinch chopped coriander
  • 1 or 2 kaffir lime leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 1 toasted un-deseeded dried chilli, crumbled
  • piece banana leaf
  • ½ lime, cut into cheeks
  1. Check the batter. It well might need some more rice flour or water to bring the batter back to the required consistency – but use only if necessary.
  2. In a small bowl mix a cup of drained brined prawns with the most of the mixed fresh herbs. Pour in enough batter to coat generously.
  3. Heat the oil.
  4. Spoon small amounts of the battered prawns into the hotoil and deep-fry until golden.
  5. Lift and drain on absorbent paper.
  6. Sprinkle with more of the remaining herbs and serve the cakes on the banana leaf with a cheek of lime.      

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