2.25 lb red snapper (or other red fish
such as mullet)
1 onion, sliced
2 oz tamarind pods
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 lemon grass stalks, very finely chopped
4 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 tbsp yellow bean paste
8 oz rice vermicelli, soaked in warm water
4 oz beansprouts
8-10 basil or mint sprigs
1 oz roasted peanuts, ground
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring the water to the boil in a saucepan.
Lower the heat and add the fish and onion, with 1/2 tsp salt. Simmer
gently until the fish is cooked through. Remove the
fish from the stock; set aside. Add the tamarind, fish sauce and sugar
to the stock. Cook for 5 minutes, then strain the stock into a large jug
or bowl. Carefully remove all of the bones from the fish, keeping the
flesh in big pieces.
Heat the oil
in a large frying pan. Add the garlic and lemon grass and fry for a few
seconds. Stir in the tomatoes and bean paste. Cook gently for 5-7
minutes, until the tomatoes are soft. Add the stock, bring back to a
simmer and adjust the seasoning. Drain the
vermicelli. Plunge it into a saucepan of boiling water for a few
minutes, drain and divide among individual serving bowls. Add the
beansprouts, fish, basil or mint, and sprinkle the ground peanuts on
top. Top up each bowl with the hot soup.
gives this light, fragrant noodle soup a slightly sour taste.