Heat the oil in a large saucepan.
Add the garlic and shrimp paste and fry gently over a medium heat for 1 minute.
Meanwhile, lightly crush the lemon grass stalks with a rolling pin or the blade of a large knife.
To make the soup add the lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and chicken stock to the pan, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile , drop the noodles into a pan of boiling water, remove from the heat and leave to soak for 4 minutes, before draining.
To refine the soup, strain the stock through a fine sieve into a bowl, return to the pan and add the fish sauce, lime juice, red chilli and sugar.
Simmer for 3 minutes.
Add the egg noodles and spinach, or pak choi and simmer for a further 30 seconds.
Finally, ladle into bowls, dividing the noodles equally between them and scatter over the coriander leaves.
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