Hot and Sour Chicken Soup

From issue #7.
Photography by Simon Devitt.
Hot and Sour Chicken Soup

Serves: 4


6 cups chicken stock
1 stalk lemongrass, roughly chopped
3 cm piece ginger, sliced 3 kaffir lime leaves, shredded 1 shallot, sliced 250 grams skinless chicken breast
60 mls fish sauce 60 mls lime juice
1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
3 spring onions, thinly sliced 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
coriander leaves and lime wedges to serve


Place the stock, lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves and shallot in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, add the chicken breast and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove the chicken and when cool enough to handle, shred thinly. Strain the stock into a clean saucepan.

Soak the mushrooms in warm water for 15 minutes then slice finely. Strain the soaking water through a piece of muslin into the chicken stock. Add the mushrooms, chicken, fish sauce, lime juice, chilli and spring onions to the stock and gently re-heat. Ladle into bowls and garnish with plenty of coriander. Serve with extra wedges of lime on the side. Serves 4

Chicken stock: it is easy and inexpensive to make your own chicken stock. Chicken carcasses are readily available from the supermarket or poultry stores. Put them in a large pot with a carrot, a stick of celery, an onion and a leek, all roughly chopped. Add a bay leaf, a few parsley stalks and peppercorns and cover with fresh, cold water. Bring slowly to the boil, skimming the surface frequently. Simmer gently for an hour or two, before straining. Refrigerate overnight, remove the solidified layer of fat from the top and store
in the freezer in small containers, ready for use in soups, casseroles or risotto.