Hot and sour broth

Paul Merret looks to the piquant flavours of Thailand as inspiration for this seafood soup
By Paul Merrett
Hot and sour broth
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 1/2 litres chicken stock
  • 4 cm piece ginger
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
  • 5 fresh or frozen lime leaves
  • 1 red chilli, sliced into 3 pieces
  • 6 shiitake mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cm square palm sugar, or 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 small squid, cleaned, tube and tentacles only
  • 4 tiger prawns, heads, tails and legs removed
  • 2 fillets of bream, skin on, sliced into bite-size pieces
  • 1 handfuls coriander stalks, roughly chopped
  • 2 limes, juice only
  • fish sauce, to taste
  • soy sauce, to taste

Tips and Suggestions

if palm sugar is unavailable, use light brown sugar instead.


1. Heat the chicken stock in a large pan.

2. Crush together the ginger, lemon grass, lime leaves and chilli, using a pestle and mortar or food processor, and add to the stock. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse into the stock. Grate in some palm sugar.

3. Slice the squid tube into 1cm wide rings and add along with the tentacles and prawns to the broth. Add the bream and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, making sure that the broth is simmering.

4. Stir the coriander into the broth with the lime juice and a splash of soy sauce and a splash of fish sauce to taste.

5. Spoon the broth into a large bowl and serve.

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