- 25 g (scant 1 oz) dried shrimps
- 2.5 cm (1 in) piece fresh root ginger, sliced
- 4 spring onions
- 1 whole star anise
- 6 dried Chinese mushrooms, about 15 g (½ oz) in total
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2.5 cm (1 in) piece fresh root ginger, finely chopped
- 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 55 g (2 oz) bamboo shoots, cut into fine matchsticks
- 125 g (4½ oz) cooked peeled shrimps or prawns
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 85 g (3 oz) fine Chinese egg noodles
- fresh coriander leaves to garnish
- Put all the ingredients for the stock in a large saucepan with 1.4 litres (2½ pints) water – there's no need to peel or chop the ginger and spring onions as they will be discarded after cooking. Bring to the boil, skimming off any scum, then cover and simmer for 1 hour. Strain the stock and discard the flavourings.
- While the stock is simmering, rinse the dried mushrooms in cold water and put them in a bowl. Pour over boiling water to cover and leave to soak for 20 minutes. Drain, then discard the tough stalks and cut the mushroom caps into thin slices.
- Heat the sesame oil in a large saucepan, add the ginger and cook for 30 seconds, stirring. Add the shrimp stock and mushrooms, bring to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the spring onions, bamboo shoots, shrimps or prawns, and soy and fish sauces. Bring back to the boil, then add the noodles and simmer for 2–3 minutes or until softened. Serve hot, sprinkled with coriander leaves.
Copyright by The Readers Digest Association, Inc. 2003
Some more ideas
For a tasty variation, cook fish balls in the stock. To make the fish balls, put 150 g (5½ oz) skinless cod or haddock fillet in a blender or food processor with 1 spring onion, chopped, 1 cm (½ in) piece fresh root ginger, chopped, 1 tbsp beaten egg and 1 tbsp cornflour, and process until smooth. Chill the mixture while making the shrimp stock and soaking the mushrooms. Roll the fish mixture into 16 small balls. In step 3, omit the cooked shrimps or prawns and drop the fish balls into the boiling stock when you add the noodles. Cook for 2–3 minutes or until the balls float to the surface. Add 45 g (1½ oz) baby spinach leaves and bring back to the boil. Serve with shredded coriander leaves scattered over the top. * The soup can also be served as a light lunch dish. Simply add double the quantity of egg noodles (170 g/6 oz) and shrimps or prawns (250 g/9 oz).
The variety of ingredients used in this tasty soup provides lots of essential nutrients, but the result is still very low in calories. * Shrimps and prawns are a good source of calcium, an essential mineral for healthy bones and teeth. * For centuries, ginger has been recognised as having medicinal properties, particularly aiding digestion and preventing nausea. Ginger biscuits are often recommended to pregnant women to help relieve the symptoms of morning sickness.