This sour soup is traditionally made with chicken, beef or tofu, or seafood like fish or prawns, but this recipe is a little different, with mussels as the star protein.
- 15 mussels
- 1 lemongrass stalk, soft white section only, finely chopped
- 3 kaffir lime leaves, stems removed, finely chopped
- 1 golf-ball size piece galangal, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp finely chopped raw turmeric
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup tamarind paste
- 4 cups (1 litre) chicken stock
- cherry tomatoes
- 1 bunch water spinach
- ¼ cup oil
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 bunch chives, chopped
- 1 cup glutinous rice flour
- 1 tbsp tapioca starch
- toasted rice, lemongrass and galangal, blended
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Clean mussels, pulling off beards.
- Use a mortar and pestle to start pounding hard-to-grind ingredients: lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and galangal. Add turmeric, garlic and shallot, and pound until ingredients are crushed and combined into a paste.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add spice paste and fry for 3–5 minutes, or until dry. Add tamarind paste and chicken stock. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make rice cakes. Heat a little oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minutes, or until fragrant. Add chives and a pinch of salt. Cook for 1 minute.
- Combine rice flour, tapioca starch and garlic mixture in a mixing bowl. Add enough water, stirring, to make a paste. Add toasted rice mixture and stir to combine.
- Roll rice mixture into small balls. Flatten into cakes.
- Heat remaining oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook rice cakes, in batches, for 2 minutes each side, or until golden. Set aside.
- Add cherry tomatoes and water spinach to chicken stock mixture. Add mussels and cover with a lid. Cook for 3–4 minutes, or until mussels are open. Serve soup with rice cakes.