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Hot and Sour Prawn Soup with Lemon Grass

ingredients

serves 4 - 6
450 g (1 lb) king prawns
1 litre (1 3/4 pints) 4 cups chicken stock or water
3 stalks lemon grass
10 kaffir lime leaves, torn in half
225 g (8 oz) can straw mushrooms, drained
45 ml (3 tbsp) fish sauce
50 ml (2 fl oz) 1/4 cup lime juice
30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped spring onion
15 ml (1 tbsp) coriander leaves
4 red chillies, seeded and chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped

method

1. Shell and devein the prawns and set aside. Rinse the prawn shells and place in a large saucepan with the stock or water and bring to the boil.

2. Bruise the lemon grass stalks with the blunt edge of a chopping knife and add them to the stock together with half of the lime leaves. Simmer gently for 5 - 6 minutes, until the stalks change colour and the stock is fragrant.

3. train the stock and return to the saucepan and reheat. Add the mushrooms and prawns, then cook until the prawns turn pink.

4. Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice, spring onions, coriander, red chillies and the rest of the lime leaves. Taste and adjust the seasoning. It should be sour, salty, spicy and hot.

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