Prawn and pineapple tom yum with rice noodles


  • Serves 4 people

We've used a food processor for the spice base of this soup, but using a mortar and pestle to pound the ingredients will bring out even more flavour.

  • 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 20 gm each ginger and galangal, coarsely chopped
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves, coarsely torn, plus extra, to serve
  • 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 4 coriander roots, scrubbed plus leaves, to serve
  • 3 red shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 4 red birdseye chillies, coarsely chopped, plus extra, sliced, to serve
  • 2 lemongrass stalks (white part only), thinly sliced
  • 150 gm pineapple, coarsely chopped
  • 1.25 litres (5 cups) hot chicken or fish stock
  • 100 gm thin dried rice noodles
  • 16 medium uncooked prawns, peeled and cleaned
  • 100 gm cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 90 ml fish sauce, or to taste
  • Juice of 3 limes, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar (see note)
01   Process tomatoes, ginger, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, garlic, coriander roots, shallot, chilli, lemongrass and 100gm pineapple in a food processor to a smooth paste. Transfer to a large saucepan, add stock and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until well-flavoured (15-20 minutes). Strain into a clean pan, pressing on solids (discard solids), and return to the simmer.
02   Cover noodles in a large bowl with boiling water and stand until tender (10-15 minutes). Drain and divide among serving bowls.
03   Add prawns, tomatoes, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and remaining pineapple to broth, and simmer until prawns are just cooked through and opaque (2-3 minutes). Adjust seasoning if necessary (soup should taste hot, sour, spicy and salty), ladle soup over noodles and serve scattered with extra lime leaves, coriander and chilli.
Note Coconut sugar is available from select delicatessens and health-food shops. If it's unavailable, use light palm sugar.
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