Tom Yam Goong (spicy prawn soup)

As Asian soups go, I adore Malaysian Laksa – But (and it’s a huge but) it’s horrendously fattening – not to mention impossible to make properly. This Thai soup called Tom Yam Goong is much more manageable and pretty damn delicious. Who knew it would be so easy to make!?



250g prawns (with their heads and shells)
40g small button mushrooms
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
10 red birds eye chillies (crushed to a pulp with 1 teaspoon peanut oil)
1 stalk lemon grass (white part only, very finely sliced)
4 thin slices ginger
2 kaffir lime leaves (finely sliced)
3 coriander roots (washed and crushed to a pulp)
salt & pepper
fresh coriander leaves to garnish

Remove the heads, shells and tails from the prawns (devein them and set aside). Put the heads and shells into a large pan and cover with 400ml water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and then strain the liquid twice through a seive. Discard the shells.

Mix the chilli paste with the lime juice and fish sauce and set aside.

Bring the stock back to a simmer then add the lime leaves, ginger and lemongrass, coriander root pulp and mushrooms simmer for 2 minutes then add the prawns and simmer for 1 minute until cooked through. Stir in half the chilli mix add salt & pepper and serve.

Divide the soup into two large bowls and sprinkle over some coriander leaves. Serve the remaining chilli on the side so you can adjust the heat levels yourself.

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