Asian Style Prawn and Noodle Soup

Having eaten rather a lot before and over Christmas, and throughout January (it’s been so cold, I needed a lot of fuel to keep warm!) I’ve ended up with there being a little more of me that I would usually prefer.   Having let this go for a little while (about 7 weeks) I finally decided it was time to start looking at healthy meal options.  Rooting through my rather full freezer I came across some prawns that I had bought reduced several months ago and forgotten about.

The prawns were shell on and raw and I thought they would be perfect to make an Asian style broth and with the shells used to make the stock for the soup.  I have to confess that as much as I love cooking there are quite a basic few things that I have never tried and making stock is one of them.  I knew the principles, I had watched it done on the TV and by my mum, but when it came to doing the cooking myself I always reached for the good old oxo cube.

To start my first ever stock I roughly chopped a small onion and a couple of sticks of celery (I only had one carrot and so I saved this for the soup itself) and fried them in some toasted sesame oil.  When these started to brown I added my raw whole prawns and cooked these through.

Frying off the onion, celery and prawns

I didn’t want the prawns overcooking so as soon as they had turned pink I fished them out of the pan and placed them in the fridge to cool down a little.  I then added a litre of boiling water to my hot pan and vegetables.  The water lifted all the flavour from the bottom of the pan and looked pretty stocky straight away which gave me a bit of confidence.  I turned the heat right down and put a lid on the pot.

Adding the water to make stock

After about 10 minutes my prawns had cooled enough to be handled and so I removed the heads, tails and shell, all of which went into the stock.  I deveined the flesh and put the prawns back in the fridge.  I left the shells etc in the simmering stock for about 15 minutes before straining everything out.

Adding the shells to the stock and then straining 15 minutes later

I then cleaned out the pan and started work on the soup itself frying off 1tsp of ginger paste, a good squirt of garlic puree and 1 tsp of chopped chilli in some more toasted sesame oil.   Onto the vegetables, I added my lonely carrot (sliced) and about 4 mushrooms (also sliced).

Frying my spices and vegtables

Next to go in the pan was the stock which once again lifted everything from the bottom of the pan.  I cooked everything for a little bit longer and the liquid started to froth a bit.  I did my best to scrape it from the top, but this proved quite difficult given the veg floating around and I suspect I probably should have boiled again after I strained it and removed any froth then.   To make the soup a bit more filling I added a bundle of soba noodles.  These didn’t need to be precooked and so went straight into the soup.

Adding the noddles to my rather frothy soup

The noodles were cooked in about 2 minutes and so I quickly finished the soup with a few big handfuls of spinach and the prawns.  After the spinach was wilted and the prawns warmed through it was time to serve up.

Finally adding the spinach and the prawns and then serving up, minus as much froth as possible!

Overall I was pretty pleased with the soup.  The fish flavour was pretty strong but the garlic, ginger and chilli came through as well.  For such a thin soup it actually kept me full for quite a while and the gently spicy heat warmed me up a treat.  I think I probably have a long way to go with my stock making, particularly in relation to removing or preventing a frothy scum from forming and making it to the final dish.  It was a lot of effort to actually make the stock and I don’t think it will become a regular thing for me to do (the sales of oxo are safe!) but I would definitely give it a go again and I can see how you get much more depth of flavour making the stock from scratch.

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One Response to “Asian Style Prawn and Noodle Soup”

  1. bkpannen Says:

    Wauw i love noodle soup…. thnx for blogging….

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