Lovely Meal

This soup is a signature Malaysian dish, found in the humblest street cafes and the poshest restaurants.

The ingredients can vary, but the basics MUST include lemongrass, limes, coconut milk and shrimp paste.



Preparation Time:  10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

 1 1\2 pints chicken stock  For the spice paste:
 4 oz rice vermicelli noodles  2 red Thai chillies
 12 large prawns, uncooked  2 lemongrass stalks, outer leaves removed, remainder chopped
 1\2 cup beansprouts  1 oz cashew nuts
 4 hardboiled eggs, quartered  2 garlic cloves, chopped
 1 cup coconut milk  1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
 1\2 cup cooked squid rings  1 teasp turmeric
 2 teasp brown sugar  1 small onion, chopped
 2 teasp salt  1 teasp ground coriander
 2 tblsp vegetable oil  3 tblsp water
 1 teasp shrimp paste  
 1/2 cup green beans, chopped into 1" lengths  
 1 tblsp fresh mint, chopped, to garnish  
 1 lime, cut into wedges, to garnish  

Add all the ingredients for the spice paste to a food processor and blend until smooth. Heat the oil in a large pan, and gently fry the spice paste for a few minutes to release the aroma. Add the chicken stock and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the green beans for the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Bring a small pan of water to the boil, add the rice vermicelli, then remove from the heat. Let stand for 2 minutes, then add the beansprouts to blanch for a further minute. Drain vermicelli and beansprouts and leave to stand until ready to use.

Add the coconut milk, sugar, salt and shrimp paste to the stock, and cook for a few minutes. Add the prawns and simmer until the prawns are pink and cooked. Add the cooked squid to heat through.

Divide the vermicelli and beansprouts between four serving bowls. Spoon over the hot soup, and garnish each bowl with the fresh mint, chopped egg and lime wedges.