I think this may be something along the lines of a “Geng jeut dtom gung manao” – believe that you’ll believe anything.
Anyway let’s have a go as this home made soup in a Thai stylee – it’s fairly simple and you do have a chance to make it unique every time – as you’ll see later.
I did this recently at a condo dinner gathering and I have to say the bowls were not full for long. I did a ring round first to ask who liked what – fish/no fish, clams/no clams, prawns/no prawns to gain consensus type thing, as the soup was one of only three items on the menu that night I had to adapt a little to suit all palates.
What you’ll need to fill seven fair sized bowls, as I did that night;
- 2 litres of chicken stock;
- 1 large pinch of salt;
- 1 large pinch of white sugar – but on this occasion I actually used Japanese black Okinawan natural sugar. This gives an amazing sweet molasses flavor to the chicken stock, and I have to say it made quite a difference. So you could try brown sugar or cane sugar;
- 3-4 limes sliced thinly – you need about 3 slices per bowl basically;
- 200g raw, peeled and de-veined prawns (thanks Mary), and then I also halved them by slicing down the back;
- 1 good pinch or two of white pepper;
- 1 bunch of Chinese parsley/coriander for dressing; and
- 1 finely sliced Jalapeno pepper, again for dressing.
Version No 1
Bring the stock to the boil and reduce to a simmer, add in the salt and the sugar. Add in the prawns and watch for them to turn pink – that will take place within about 2-3 minutes.
No disappearing for a chat, glass of wine, smoke break – no, as you’ll come back to overcooked prawns.
Spoon in to the bowls, equally apportioning the prawns of course. I had already laid the three limes slices per bowl and some chili slices so the hot soup draws out the flavours. Then top with some of the ripped coriander, add a sprinkle of white pepper and serve away.
This was a simple but goodie!
Version No 2
Extra extra read all about it… For version No 2 add the following to the ingredients above for No 1;
- 1 tray white shell clams – simply thrown in to boiling water. Take them off the heat when the shells open and put aside. It may be worth-while soaking them first for an hour or so in quite salty water so they “cough” up the sandy grit in their stomachs
- 1 tray of quail eggs or equivalent, hard boiled for about 8-10 minutes, peeled and left in some warm water
At the point of “Add in the prawns and watch for them to turn pink – that will take place within about 2-3 minutes”, it’s time to throw in the clams and again serve exactly the same as Version 1 but after the pepper sprinkle add in two quail eggs per bowl.
Sort of brings me again to my view of cooking. Nothing is a final version. No one can own a recipe.
What do they say, “variety is the spice of…”.
Well in this instance it’s my soup! Enjoy!