City Palate

The Entertaining Issue - November December 2017

Fragrant Thai Spot Prawn Soup with Seaweed and Sea Asparagus
Untitled Document

March/April 2017
from chef Lila Ruzicka


Local spot prawns are in season in May. Chef Lila Ruzicka recommends freezing the shells of the prawns to make a big batch of prawn stock. The heads are full of flavour so don’t ever throw out (or overboard) if you’re lucky enough to get them fresh. Spot prawns have a sweet firm flesh, they only need the lightest touch of heat to cook them to perfection. A good sustainable substitute for spot prawns is wild Argentinian prawns.
1 lb. spot prawns
1 t. sea salt
1 t. white sugar
1 scallion smashed
1 slice galangal
1 T. vegetable or sesame oil
8 c. prawn or fish stock
4 c. water
3 stalks lemongrass, smashed with back of knife, sliced into 1/2” slices
4 kaffir lime leaves
4 slices galangal
2 small birds eye red chiles, sliced
1 garlic clove minced
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1 onion sliced thinly
1 celery stalk sliced thinly
1 c. sliced mushrooms
(oyster is my favourite)
1 red sweet pepper, julienned
juice of 2 limes
1 T. fish sauce
1 t. palm sugar or light brown sugar
3 scallions sliced thinly
big handful cilantro leaves, including finely chopped stems


Optional:
handful sea asparagus, soaked in fresh cold water for 2 hrs
handful fresh seaweed, chopped fine, or crumbled if dry
cilantro leaves, garnish
red chile, thinly sliced, for more heat
(optional), garnish


Peel the prawns and set aside shells if using for the broth. Place the prawns in large roasting pan single layer. Bring salt, sugar and 8 c. water to a boil, add scallion and galangal. Pour boiling liquid over prawns, cover and let sit 5 minutes. Drain and cool. In a large pot, heat the oil and sauté the prawn shells, stock, water, lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal, chiles, garlic and coconut milk. Bring to boil, simmer for 1 hour. Strain broth. Add onion, celery, mushrooms and red pepper. Reduce heat to a simmer for another 2 minutes. Add the lime juice, fish sauce and palm sugar, herbs and optional greens. Place a few prawns in each bowl and pour hot broth overtop. Garnish with cilantro and thinly sliced red chile if you like more heat. Serves 6-8.


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