I had some left over home-made red curry paste, plus some frozen mixed seafood – squid and prawns mostly. In my fridge I found some spinach, tofu and shitake mushrooms, so I felt a soup coming on. The red curry paste made it quite different from the other soups I make, and very delicious. You could easily use some from a jar if you can’t be bothered to make your own, but the coriander seeds do make it taste nice.
1 litre water
a couple slices galangal
1 stalk lemon grass, bashed,
1 chilli, sliced and deseeded
some coriander stalks and leaves
salt and pepper
2 tbs red curry paste
1-2 tbs groundnut oil
1 pack of frozen or fresh seafood bits, available at all supermarkets
1/2 bloc of firm tofu, cut into small squares
6 shitake mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp fish sauce
a couple of big handfuls of spinach
a good handful or two of rice vermicelli noodles or other rice noodles, dry
1 birds-eye chilli, sliced and deseeded
coriander and mint or laksa leaves
First make the stock; add all the ingredients, bring to the boil and simmer for 30-40 minutes.
In a large pan, quickly stir fry the red curry paste, then add the mushrooms. When the mushrooms are soft, add the strained stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for a few minutes until mushrooms are cooked through, then add the vermicelli and continue simmering the noodles are cooked – about 8-10 minutes depending on the variety you use. Once all that is cooked, add the fish sauce, spinach and the seafood, cook for a couple of minutes, then add the chilli, coriander or other herbs.
All that remains is to ladle it out into soup bowl, slurp up with chop sticks and a soup spoon, oriental style. No such thing as good manners over here…