Red mul­let, sea­weed and prawn ‘rock­pool’ soup with noo­dles

SERVES 4-6

Food and Travel (UK) - - Contents -

This dish is all about the tasty broth – nu­tri­tious yet light, so go to the trou­ble of turn­ing the red mul­let bones and prawn shells into a stock for the base for your soup. The soup can be made any time and frozen un­til needed.

1 x quan­tity fish stock (see recipe, be­low) or 1-1.25 litres shop-bought fish stock 2 stems lemon­grass, trimmed of outer husk and finely chopped

2cm gin­ger scraped, then sliced into wafer-thin pieces 2 long red chill­ies

2tbsp fish sauce juice 1 large lime

5g dried sea­weed

3 fat jumbo salad onions

125g fine quick cook Thai rice noo­dles

3 large or 6 small red mul­let, fil­leted (heads and bones re­served)

8-12 prawns, heads and shells in­tact

For the fish stock

heads, shells and tails re­served from 8-12 prawns bones re­served from 3 large or 6 small red mul­let

2 fish heads from any other fish or bones you can get from your fish­mon­ger (no oily fish)

1 onion To make the stock, pull the heads off the prawns, then re­move the shells and tails and put them in a large pan. Set the prawns aside in a bowl. Add the bones and heads from the mul­let to the pan along with any ex­tra fish bones you might have with the onion and a large pinch of salt crys­tals. Cover with 1.5 litres cold wa­ter. Gently bring to a low sim­mer for 30-45 min­utes so the stock stays as clear as pos­si­ble. Strain through a sieve set over a bowl with­out press­ing the solids (oth­er­wise it will go too cloudy).

Pour the stock into a pan along with the lemon­grass and gin­ger, and bring to a gen­tle sim­mer for around 10 min­utes.

Cut the stalk end from the chill­ies, roll them be­tween your fin­gers, bang on the in­side of the sink so the seeds drop out, then thinly slice into rounds. Add to the pan of stock with fish sauce and lime juice (add a lit­tle more of both to taste, if nec­es­sary).

Put the sea­weed in a bowl of cold wa­ter and soak for

5-10 min­utes un­til ten­der. Cut the fat spring onions in half length­ways and slice thinly on the di­ag­o­nal and add to the pan.

Put the noo­dles in a heat­proof bowl and cover with boil­ing wa­ter. Leave for about 4 min­utes un­til soft. Drain and re­fresh un­der cold wa­ter and set aside.

Cut each prawn length­ways al­most in half, so the black vein some­times found in the back and belly of the prawn can be pulled out with a piece of kitchen pa­per. Cut each fil­let of mul­let in half, di­ag­o­nally. Bring the pan of broth to a sim­mer once more and add the prawns and fish. Heat for 3-4 min­utes un­til they are just cooked.

Drain the sea­weed, rinse and drain again. To serve, add some noo­dles to each bowl. Re­move the fish and prawns with a slot­ted spoon and place on top of the noo­dles. Di­vide the sea­weed be­tween the bowls then la­dle in the broth. Fin­ish with the chilli, gin­ger and onion pieces from the pan.

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