This luscious tamarind based soup is a great balance of tang and savoury. Amazing with pork, prawns or chicken but my fave is having it with fish and submerging freshly cooked rice in the tasty soup. There's no real rule on what veg you can use but the most popular are greens (spinach or pak choy), okra, aubergine, taro (or potato). Most like complimenting this dish with fish sauce or lemon juice or both mixed together! A real simple recipe great in the Winter and Summer or any day really!
3 medium sized Sea Breams
3-4 cloves of garlic
4 mini Thai aubergines (or 1 normal sized)
4 tbsp of Tamarind paste (see below)
few dashes of fish sauce
few dashes of lemon juice
If you manage to buy tamarind pulp that comes with the seeds and branches simply add 4 tbsp into a bowl, add hot water and let it soak for 15 minutes. Breakdown the pulp in the hot water. Push the paste through a sieve, leaving the seeds and branches behind.
Boil 1.5l of water in a pan. Roughly chop the garlic, onions and tomatoes. Slice the fish in 3 - the head, middle and tail.
Add the garlic, onions, tomatoes, fish heads, tamarind paste and fish sauce to the boiling water and leave to simmer for 15-20minutes.
Slice the aubergine into bite sized pieces. Tip: to avoid it going brown over time, leave to soak in lemon water. Peel the taro and slice into similar sized pieces. Add the taro and aubergine to the pot (the aubergine takes less cooking time so this can go 5 minutes after the taro) simmer for 10 minutes. Taste to see if you would like more tang or savouriness then simply add more fish sauce or lemon juice.
Add the rest of the fish pieces and chopped spinach. Leave to simmer for 5-7 minutes. You'll know its cooked when the spinach has shrivelled. Taste again to see if its balanced and add either the fish sauce or lemon juice.
In a bowl of fresh rice add spoon the fish and veg and don't forget the awesome soup!