Tuesday 17 August 2010

Thai Rice Soup

A common brunch when I was growing up was Thai rice soup. Made with cold cooked leftover rice, it was a bracing meal. Handfuls of coriander would be lobbed in and spoonfuls of fish sauce, studs of raw garlic and chopped birds eye chillis bobbing around, would splash into our bowls. It was guaranteed to make you whiff a bit for the rest of the day. Limes would squirt with abandon as we seasoned and tasted our dishes, adding bits of this and that as we went along, to suit our tastes.I would eat bowlful after bowlful of it, the delicately flavoured stock filling me up nicely. The pictures don't really do it justice, given it looks like murky dishwater with bits of greenery floating atop.

Prawns are a luxury-around-payday treat, but commonly balls of minced pork, seasoned with white pepper and salt are be dropped into the broth to cook instead. You could be ultra decadent and do both.

Thai Rice Soup

Serves 2

150gr (uncooked weight) rice, cooked and cooled preferably overnight
350ml water
A couple of handfuls of raw prawns, shell and heads on
1 stick of lemongrass
1/2 inch piece of galangal
3 kaffir lime leaves
4 tbsp fish sauce
1 fat clove of garlic
2 red birds eye chillis
2 limes
2 tbsp Tianjin preserved vegetable (not very Thai, but I like it)
A handful of coriander
A few cherry tomatoes, halved

Deshell the prawns and place the shells and the heads in the water with the lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves, roughly chopped. Bring to the simmer and simmer very gently for 20 minutes. Strain and reserve.

Meanwhile, crush the garlic roughly and add to the fish sauce in a bowl with the juice of half a lime. Chop the chillis up and add them too, giving it a good stir. Chop the coriander and add to another bowl. Rinse the preserved vegetable.

Bring the stock up to the simmer and add the rice, breaking it up with your hands as you add it in. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add the prawns and as soon as they turn pink, take off the heat and add the cherry tomatoes. Ladle the soup into bowls, scatter the preserved veg in equally and serve with the coriander, fish sauce mixture and the rest of the lime cut into wedges to add as you please.


Su-Lin said...

Ooooh, that looks wonderfully comforting. So good in this stupid weather.

BeccaRothwell said...

That sounds so good! I love the idea of dropping balls of minced pork in to cook in the stock too, although I imagine you'd still need the prawn heads etc to make the stock?

Is it important to get galangal here or could you feasibly replace it with ginger? Another one to add to the list of recipes to try anyway!

sunflower said...

Sounds really lovely. I will add some crunchies like roasted peanuts, fried wonton skin or some you char kwai. That will be perfect.


I'd like to bathe in that! Adding it to my 'to cook' list. xxx

Unknown said...

Good effort, Lizzie. This soup is definitely addictive. I defy anyone to have just one bowl.

Gourmet Butcher said...

Mmmmmm yummy! That looks like a great filling dinner/lunch recipe! I bet the chilli's really warm you up on a cold day!!

Unknown said...

sounds wonderful... now, i know you're going to hate me but do you have a good veggie thai soup recipe?... the Big V needs a treat!

Helen said...

Ooh yummers. Sounds delicious. Soups are such a pain to take picture of I agree. Not much you can do with a bowl of liquid. Still looks lovely though.

Gastrogeek said...

This looks uber tasty. What a thoroughly excellent way to kick start the day.

Fran and Tim said...

Would make a great winter breakfast broth. Flavours to remind me of my trip to Vietnam last year. Will definately try this one, thanks!

S said...

i love the way you write, Lizzie. x shayma