Hot and Sour Thai Chicken Broth
This recipe, given to me by Sarah Randell, the Editor of the Collection, is based on a version of Tom Yum soup - a spicy, clear, refreshing broth found on the menu of most Thai restaurants. This one is made with chicken but it is also delicious made with tiger prawns - and what's more, it is low in fat. The Thai fish sauce is used to season the soup but make sure you buy a good-quality one such as Squid brand, as some less authentic versions are excessively salty. This soup is also nice made with Japanese miso stock.
|2 skinless chicken breasts (6 oz/175 g each)|
|2 pints (1.2 litres) chicken stock|
|a small bunch of coriander leaves (½ oz/10 g)|
|2 small red bird's eye chillies|
|1 stalk of lemon grass, roughly chopped|
|a small piece (1 inch/2.5 cm) of ginger, peeled and sliced|
|2 medium, ripe tomatoes|
|3 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced (including the green parts)|
|2 oz (50 g) fresh, shelled peas|
|2 oz (50 g) sugar snap peas, cut in half|
|1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce|
|1 tablespoon tamarind purée|
|juice of a large lime (about 2 tablespoons)|
|Need help with conversions?|
This recipe is taken from The Delia Collection: Soup
First of all, you need to pick all the coriander leaves off the stalks and then cut 1 of the chillies in half lengthways and deseed it.
Next, put the chicken stock into a large saucepan and add the coriander stalks, halved chilli, lemon grass and ginger. Bring the mixture to the boil, give everything a stir, then cover and leave to simmer very gently for 15 minutes to allow the Thai flavours to infuse the stock. You can make this stock in advance but add the rest of the ingredients shortly before serving.
Meanwhile, place the tomatoes in a bowl and pour boiling water over them and leave them for 1 minute before draining. Next, skin the tomatoes and cut each one into quarters, then remove the seeds and cut each quarter into three lengthways, so you end up with thin slices.
Now cut each chicken breast in half widthways and then slice each half into five or six long thin strips and then slice each of these in half lengthways so you end up with thin slivers of chicken. Now strain the stock into a colander set over a bowl and discard the flavourings.
Next, return the stock to the pan and when it is back to simmering point, stir in the thin slivers of chicken, and half of the spring onions. Stir and then cover again and leave the chicken to poach gently for 5 minutes or until it is cooked through.
Meanwhile, trim and halve the remaining chilli, remove the seeds, and then finely slice it, making sure you wash your hands afterwards. Next, add the peas, sugar snaps, sliced chilli, fish sauce, tamarind and lime juice to the soup, stir and gently simmer for 2-3 minutes or until the peas are just tender but still retain their bite.
Stir the slices of tomato in at the last minute and then divide the coriander leaves among four deep bowls.
Ladle the piping hot soup on top, sprinkle with the remaining spring onions and serve immediately.
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The soups of South-East Asia are all united by their punchy flavours, spicy elements and use of fresh herbs, fish and meat. This laksa is a really authentic version, but if you're short of time, use a ready-made paste.
Although leeks are the traditional ingredient in a vichyssoise, the inclusion of lemon grass instead gives the soup a wonderful citrusy oriental flavour that really lends itself to serving chilled.
This is a low-fat variation of Thai Grilled Beef Salad with Grapes. In Thailand they serve it with pomelo, which is very similar to grapefruit.
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