Recipe: Ultimate Hot And Sour Prawn Soup


This recipe is perfect when you have some time to spare and want to create something truly incredible. The stock is made from scratch which gives a whole new depth to this hot and sour soup.


For The Prawn Stock

  • 14 king prawns, whole, shell on
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1.5 l water

For The Chilli Paste

  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 banana shallot
  • 5 large mild dried chillies
  • 2 tbsp dried shrimp
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp palm sugar
  • 1/4 tsp shrimp paste
  • 100 ml vegetable oil

For The Soup

  • 10 g galangal (or ginger)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 2 red finger chillies
  • 150 g oyster mushrooms
  • 100 g cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar
  • 2 limes
  • 2 sprigs coriander

Step 1

Make The Stock

Remove the heads from the prawns and peel them. Cut down the back of the prawns to butterfly, removing any visible black line. Put the prawn flesh aside in the fridge for later. Heat a large saucepan over a high heat and add the oil. Throw in all of the heads and the shells and fry for a few minutes, then pour in the water, bring to a simmer and turn the heat right down. Cook gently for 45 minutes. Strain the prawn stock and discard the heads and shells. Let the stock cool and store in the fridge until needed, or use immediately.

Step 2

Blitz The Paste

Peel the garlic and shallot and roughly chop. Roughly cut the chillies. Place these into the spice grinder attachment for a Compact Food Processor with the remaining ingredients for the paste, including the oil. Blitz to a smooth paste and set aside until needed.

Step 3

Simmer The Soup

Thinly slice the galangal, bash the lemongrass and cut the chillies in half crosswise. Add them to a medium saucepan with the prawn stock. Put it over a medium heat and heat to a simmer.

Step 4

Add The Veggies

Simmer the soup for 5 minutes then add the oyster mushrooms. Bring back to a simmer then add the prawns and tomatoes. Heat again then take the saucepan off the heat as soon as it reaches a simmer. Add the fish sauce, sugar and about 2 tbsp of the chilli paste (freeze the rest to be used again in ice cube trays or similar) then squeeze in the limes.

Step 5

Garnish And Serve

Garnish with some coriander leaves and serve immediately.

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