Rustic and comforting, very Asian in essence, this soup is simplicity illustrated. Saute ginger, garlic and shallots in a little oil, pour in water, add the prawns and some kind of magic happens. You’d think that since the sauteing ingredients are very similar to those used to cook tinola, the soup would also taste like tinola. But, no. When the prawns are very fresh, the meat is sweet and the sweetness finds its way into the broth. Ergo, the resulting broth tastes very much different.
You can use any mild flavored green leafy vegetables (I used sili leaves because that was what I had) — spinach is especially recommended.
- 6 prawns (about 250 g. total weight)
2 tbsps. of cooking oil
3 cloves of garlic
a thumb-sized piece of ginger
fish sauce (patis), to taste
a large handful of green leafy vegetables (cut up if they are large)
- Start by cleaning and trimming the prawns. Rinse under running water. Drain. Cut off the tentacles and feet.
Peel and thinly slice the shallots. Crush, peel and roughly chop the garlic. Peel and thinly slice the ginger.
Heat the cooking oil in a pot. Saute the shallots, garlic and ginger, stirring often, until softened and fragrant. Pour in about four cups of water. Bring to the boil, add the prawns, season with fish sauce and wait until the liquid boils once more.
Continue boiling for another three minutes (no longer — if the prawns are overcooked, the meat turns tough) then turn off the heat. Add the greens, press down into the broth, then cover the pot. Let steep for five minutes. Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning, if needed, before serving.
Cooking time (duration): 25 minutes
Number of servings (yield): 3
Meal type: soup