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This traditional hot and sour soup needs a soft and fruity white to match, which while not heavy in body, should have real intensity of flavour. We had the most success with Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc blends and Western Australia’s Margaret River is home to this country’s best examples of this classic style. It’s worth noting that you do need to be careful of wines with excessive acidity – both here and with any of these dishes - as too much acid in a wine has a habit of making spicy food seem even spicier. Keep an eye out for producers such as Evens & Tate, Vasse Felix, Cape Mentelle and Cullen.


  • 5 scud Chilli's stems removed

  • 2 stalks of Lemongrass finely sliced

  • 2 tablespoons finely sliced Ginger

  • 1 tablespoon Coriander root

  • 2 Kaffir Lime leaves finely sliced

  • 1 small shallot peeled and finely sliced

  • 4 cups fish stock or vegetable stock

  • 3 tablespoons Lime juice

  • Fish sauce

  • Chilli Paste

  • 8 medium Shrimp or prawns, shelled and deveined

  • 1 small handful of straw Mushroom

  • 1 small handful of Coriander washed and roughly chopped


  • 1.

    Bring together the scud chillies, sliced lemongrass, ginger, coriander root, kaffir lime leaf and the shallot in a mortar and pestle and bash to bruise and combine all the ingredients without taking it all the way to a paste.

  • 2.

    Bring the stock to the boil and then reduce to a simmer, add the ingredients from the mortar and pestle and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes.

  • 3.

    Taste the broth and then add limejuice, fish sauce and chilli paste until there is a balance between hot and sour. Once you have the balance to your liking add the prawns and straw mushrooms and simmer for a further minute or until the prawns are cooked.

  • 4.

    Divide the prawns between the bowls and ladle the hot broth over the top.

  • 5.

    Sprinkle the chopped coriander over the top of each soup and serve immediately.

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