Vietnamese Seafood Soup Recipe

Vietnamese Seafood Soup Recipe

I love the food of Vietnam, particularly the wide range of marvellous soups, which may be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This one relies for its success on a well-made Asian-style stock, which can also be used for other dishes. It can also be made with commercially available stocks, but it’s better made from scratch. Ask your butcher for chicken ‘frames’ and/or necks. You’ll need about 2 kgs. The soup itself may be made with vegetables, chicken, seafood, or mushrooms, using the same stock. This version uses prawns, scallops and mushrooms.

Serves 6

Asian-style Stock:
2kg chicken bits
(carcasses and necks)
1 small knob of ginger,
peeled and cut into large chunks
2 tbsp dried Chinese mushrooms
(or pieces)
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 or 3 cloves garlic,
crushed or minced
1 anise star
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp chopped coriander
stalks and roots (optional)
2 or 3 strips of mandarin
or orange rind (optional)

In a large saucepan, put 3 litres of water and add the stock ingredients. Bring to the boil.
Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 40 minutes. (If cooked too long the stock may become bitter).
During simmering, skim off any scum that appears on the surface.
Strain into large, wide bowl. Remove surface fat by placing on paper towel and removing.
(Alternatively, you could refrigerate the stock and next day, scrape off the solidified fat).

2 litres Asian-style stock (as above)
or bought stock
500g rice noodles
250g prawns
250g scallops
150g mushrooms
6 or 7 spring onions, chopped,
white and green parts kept separate
1 tbsp peanut or canola oil
2 or 3 cloves garlic,
chopped or minced
2 or 3 tsp finely sliced ginger root
4 tbsp chopped coriander
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 or 2 tsp chilli sauce (according to taste)
Salt and pepper to season
In a large saucepan, briefly cook the white part of spring onion with garlic
and ginger in the oil.
Pour in the stock and bring to the boil.
Add remaining ingredients except noodles.
Simmer very gently until prawns are just cooked.
Stir in noodles and continue simmering for 1 minute.

Degree of difficulty: Low
Keepability: Best eaten immediately.
Wine companion: Sauvignon blanc, Semillon, or blend.

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