A hot and spicy soup is supposed to be a bit sour, a bit thin, and quite aromatic. This one is milder than some, because I wanted the sweetness of this incredible fresh stripey trumpeter to shine through. If you can’t get stripey trumpeter, other firm-fleshed, whitish fish, with big fillets, such as blue eye trevalla, or even a properly bled cocky salmon (a native fish, not the farmed version) will work nearly as well.






Skill level

Average: 1.6 (7 votes)


  • 2 long red or green chillies, halved
  • 4 cm piece of ginger, hit with the back of a knife to bruise
  • 4 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 10 coriander roots, hit with the back of a knife to bruise
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2-3 tbsp grated palm sugar
  • 2 litres water
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 250 g stripey trumpeter fillets, chopped
  • lime wedges, for serving

Cook's notes

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.


Place all the ingredients except for the fish in a large saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, then simmer for 30 minutes or until the flavours of the herbs have infused the broth. Taste for salt and sugar, adding more fish sauce or palm sugar if needed. The soup should be a balance of hot, sour and spicy. Add the fish pieces and simmer gently for 2-3 minutes or just until the fish has changed colour right through. Serve with fresh lime wedges for squeezing.

You don’t eat the aromats like the chilli or ginger, but it doesn’t matter if they end up in your bowls. Pedantic eaters may want to strain the bits out before poaching the fish, but I wouldn’t.


This recipe is from Gourmet Farmer Afloat