Walk into my kitchen and you will see shelves packed with jars and jars of different herbs and spices. The sheer number of them stacked on top of each makes the likelihood of a crashing spice fall rather high!
I love to add different spices to a dish which is probably why Asian food is one of my favourite cuisines to cook. This Thai noodle soup recipe is very easy to make and includes one of my favourite spices – turmeric. Plus I love any excuse to garnish a dish with plenty of fresh coriander!
I often pop into my local Asian store, Asia Mekong, to stock up on various goodies. If you are inMitte then this store is your best bet. But if you are looking for a slightly larger store or somewhere out west then I would recommend a recent find of mine – Amazing Oriental. It is part of the Go Asia chain and they have stores located around Berlin but it’s the one on Kantstraße that is the best. Aisles and aisles of packets of spices and the biggest selection of fresh Asian vegetables that I have seen in Berlin. Definitely worth a visit!
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Ingredients: serves 2
For the paste:
2 lemongrass stalks (outer layer removed and roughly chopped)
Small handful of fresh Thai basil
Small handful of fresh coriander
2 cloves garlic (peeled and roughly chopped)
1 tbspn dark soy sauce
1 tbpsn size fresh ginger (peeled and roughly chopped)
1 shallot (peeled and chopped)
Juice of 1 lime
For the soup:
A couple of handfuls of rice noodles
1 tbspn groundnut oil (or vegetable oil)
1 x 400ml coconut milk
Ground black pepper
1 tspn crushed chillies (or 2 small red chillies finely chopped)
1 tspn ground turmeric
200ml hot vegetable stock
Spring onions (finely chopped)
Prawns – de-frosted and prepared accordingly (I used shrimps and some king prawns)
Fresh coriander and lime wedges to garnish
For the paste: add everything together in a blender and whizz until it forms a smooth paste.
In a large/deep pan heat the oil and once hot add the paste. Gently cook the paste on a low heat for 1 -2 minutes.
Add the turmeric, black pepper and chilli flakes and give it a gentle stir whilst pouring in the hot vegetable stock. Bring to the boil for just another 2 minutes. Then turn down to a medium heat and pour in the coconut milk. Leave to gently simmer.
In the meantime you can prepare the rice noodles. Put the noodles into a large bowl and pour in enough boiling water from the kettle to completely cover the noodles. These will only need around 5 minutes.
While the noodles are soaking add the prawns to the pan with the spring onions.
Drain the noodles and plate them up in bowls. Take the soup off the heat and then pour the mixture over the noodles.
Garnish with fresh coriander and more black pepper if needed. Serve with some lime wedges