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Hot & sour fish soup
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1½ red chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
Small piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
6 shallots, roughly chopped
1 tsp palm or light muscovado sugar
35g tamarind water or lemon juice
100g squid, from the fish counter, cleaned
1 litre chicken stock
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
75g French beans, trimmed and cut into small pieces
100g monkfish fillet or cod, cut into thin slices
120g raw tiger prawns, peeled and deveined
50g baby spinach
½ x 28g pack fresh coriander
1 tbsp medium-hot red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
2 limes, halved
1. Put the chillies, ginger, garlic, shallots and sugar into a mortar or a food processor and blend to a coarse paste, adding a little of the tamarind water if necessary.
2. Cut open the body pouch of the squid along one side and, with the tip of a small, sharp knife, score the inner side into a fine diamond pattern. Cut the squid into approximately 3cm squares.
3. Bring the chicken stock and the rest of the tamarind water to the boil in a pan. Add the spice paste and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain through a muslin-lined or very fine sieve and bring to the boil again.
4. Add the Thai fish sauce and the beans and simmer for 1 minute, then add the monkfish, squid and prawns and simmer for 1 minute more or until the fish is cooked through. Tip in the spinach and simmer for a further minute.
5. Ladle the soup into warm bowls and serve scattered with coriander sprigs and red chilli, with a lime half on the side for squeezing over.
Cook’s tipTo make tamarind water mix 2 tsp tamarind paste into 100ml water.
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