Serves 3 to 4 as part of a meal with rice
Hot and sour soups are among the most popular dishes in the Thai repertoire – and deservedly so. They are simple to make and have a happy versatility to them. Those made with prawns are the most common; however, almost any seafood or fish, chicken, banana blossoms, even pork hocks can be used. Following the Asian preference, a whole fish is used in this recipe, but you can easily use fillets instead – just reduce the cooking time to a few minutes, depending on the size of the cut.
The trick to this soup lies in the seasoning: use freshly squeezed lime juice, the Thai green bird’s eye chilies that I call scuds and good fish sauce – Megachef, naturally.
Bring the stock to the boil, season with the salt and sugar then add the tomato. Simmer for several minutes until the tomato has begun to dissolve.
Meanwhile, bruise the lemongrass, shallots, coriander roots and the 2–5 green bird’s eye chilies using a mortar and pestle. Add these to the simmering stock, then add the fish and simmer until cooked – about 8–10 minutes for a whole fish, approximately 4–5 minutes for fillets. Tear the mushrooms into elegant pieces, add to the soup and simmer for a minute or so until tender.
In a serving bowl, combine the lime juice with the fish sauce, chilies and coriander. Pour in the soup and stir thoroughly. Check the seasoning and adjust accordingly: the soup should taste hot, salty and sour. Serve with steamed rice.
Roast a good handful of dried bird’s eye chilies in a wok or pan over a medium heat, stirring and tossing regularly to prevent scorching, until they have changed colour and are beginning to toast. Cool then grind to a coarse or fine powder, as preferred, using a pestle and mortar or a clean coffee grinder. This keeps well in an airtight container.
06 May 2019 03:21PM
( Updated: 07 May 2019 10:08 PM )