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    Salt Fish and Spring Onion Broth with Lemon Basil

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    Salt Fish and Spring Onion Broth with Lemon Basil

    Salt cod works well in this soup. It's available from Asian, Greek and Spanish food shops. It needs soaking for 24 hours.


    • 400g salt cod
    • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
    • 4 shallots, sliced lengthways
    • 2 sticks lemon grass, sliced
    • 100g belly pork, cut into small pieces
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • 2 star anise
    • 1-2 large mild red chillies, sliced
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • 2 teaspoons fish sauce (nuoc mam)
    • 1 litre light pork or chicken stock
    • 3 spring onions, cut into 3 and sliced lengthways
    • Lemon, sweet Thai or regular basil, to serve


    1. Soak the cod in cold water for about 24 hours. Change the water every few hours. Remove the skin and bones and break into bite-sized chunks. Leave to soak in fresh water until required.
    2. Stir-fry the garlic, shallots, lemon grass and pork in the oil until browned. Add the pepper, star anise, chillies, sugar and fish sauce and fry for a further minute.
    3. Add the stock to the pan and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the fish, cover and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Add the spring onion just before serving. Serve in small bowls with herbs piled on top.

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