The hot and sour flavour combinations in this Thai favourite will stave off winter colds in no time
- 20 raw shell-on king prawns
- 1tsp sesame oil
- 2 sticks lemongrass, chopped
- 4 thick slices galangal, peeled and chopped (or 1tbsp galangal paste, we used Barts)
- 5 lime leaves, torn
- 3 red chillies, chopped
- 4tbsp nam pal (Thai fish sauce)
- 3tbsp lime juice
- 1tbsp caster sugar
- 1tbsp sweet Thai dipping sauce
- 200g sugar snaps, sliced on the diagonal
- 200g bean sprouts
- Bunch spring onions
- small bunch coriander leaves to garnish
For a meatier, more savoury version replace the prawns with shredded, cooked chicken and the water with chicken stock
Shell the prawns reserving the meat then in a large pan or wok heat the sesame oil and fry the empty prawn shells on a high heat until pink. Add 1.2 litres (2pints) of boiling water and simmer for 5 minutes before removing the shells from the pan with a slotted spoon.
Add the lemongrass, galangal and lime leaves to the pan and simmer for 2 minutes then add the chillies, fish sauce, lime juice and sugar for a further minute. Taste, adding more lime, sugar, fish sauce or sugar if necessary.
Add the raw prawns to the pan along with the mange tout and bean sprouts and cook for a final 2 minutes until the prawns are pink and the vegetables are soft. Serve the soup in large bowls and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.