Testament to the old law that simplicity is best, this fabulous broth takes minutes to make yet is packed with fresh, zingy Thai flavours. It is the perfect starter course for a Thai meal, or a light summer lunch – best enjoyed out in the garden with the sun shining.
RECIPE – serves 2
1 pint of fish stock
2 fresh lemon grass stalks, cut into 3cm lengths and lightly crushed
1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
zest of 2 limes
3 red birds eye chillies, de-seeded and cut into long strips
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
100g raw king prawns
2 spring onions, finely sliced at an angle
a few sprigs of coriander
Bring the fish stock to a gentle simmer in a large pan, add the crushed lemon grass and fish sauce, cover and simmer for ten minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to sit, covered, to infuse for as long as you can, a couple of hours will do the job.
Later, remove the lemon grass stalks with a slotted spoon (or pour through a sieve) and discard. Bring back to the boil then add the lime zest, chillies, black pepper and lime juice. Simmer gently for 3 minutes, then add the prawns and allow them to poach gently until they are just pink. This will only take a few minutes. Stir in the spring onions and coriander and serve immediately.