On Saturday I fancied something fresh and warming to bite through the freezing cold and leave my taste buds singing. The only thing to do was to visit my local Asian supermarket Wing Tai and stock up. I love this shop, its packed to the hilt with colourful and wonderful foods, the entrance is almost impossible to see due to the artfully arranged fish stall and is always impeccably neat! Even more fun this week as Chinese New Year is coming up so the whole place is glowing with gold and red (and blaring with crazy pop music!)
I decided a Thai Tom Yum soup was what I really wanted and stocked up on fish sauce, coconut milk, galangal root (a relative of ginger), lemongrass and rice noodles.
I went to the fabulous Persepolis for my Kaffir Lime Leaves and Khans Bargains for limes, coriander and fiery chillies.
I also had some salmon in the fridge so to make our meal a bit more hearty I marinaded it in soy, lime juice, honey and chillies for about 4 hours before grilling with the sauce poured over. This is really a kind of teriake marinade so I’m combining my countries here. That said, it was the perfect Saturday supper.
Coconut Noodle Soup with Spicy Salmon
For the Salmon Marinade (marinade at least 4 hours before):
4 tablespoons dark soy
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 red chilli
2 teaspoons runny honey
(I would usually add ginger and garlic to this marinade but because I was pairing it with the soup I didn’t want to overpower the flavour)
For the Soup:
3 lemongrass stalks,
1 inch of galangal root or ginger
1/2 a red chilli
2 cloves of garlic
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 tin of coconut milk
500ml chicken stock
3-4 tablespoons fish sauce
Juice of 1-2 limes
Prepare your lemongrass by removing the tough outer stems and chopping off the root end (rather like you would with a spring onion) then slice them very finely. Leave the green end, and reserve it
Grate the galangal or ginger, dice the garlic and chilli and crush the lime leaves
Now gather it all together and dice it into a paste with your sharpest knife, or alternatively use a pestle and mortar
Squeeze the limes and reserve their empty skins
Heat the coconut milk and chicken stock
Prepare the noodles using pack instructions
Now add your lemongrass spice mix to the coconut soup, and put the lime skins, green end of the lemongrass and some coriander stalks into a sieve and put that in too.
Simmer for 15 minutes while you grill the salmon, in a heat proof dish with the marinade poured over. check on your noodles.
If you are having greens with your soup. Steam them when you have only 5 mins to go. If you’re using greens with thick stalks, instead of using a bamboo steamer just put 2cm boiling water in a tall pan and stand the greens up in it with the leaves at the top. They’ll cook quickly and you won’t risk totally overdone leaves and underdone stalks.
While the greens are steaming put the fish sauce and lime juice into the soup and discard the sieve contents. Check on the salmon.
Chop the coriander and put a handful into the soup.
When the noodles are done, drain and put into bowls, ladle over the soup and put the salmon on top and the greens on the side
Eat, delicately if you can, but it’s more fun to slurp!