Prawn Soup-Spicy and Sour

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Far Flung Floyd

Far Flung Floyd

By Keith Floyd

Published 1994

  • About


  • 450 g (1lb) raw tiger or large prawns, shelled and deveined
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 150 ml (5fl oz) fish sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 6 blades of lemon grass (include the white bulb, crushed)
  • 4 tablespoons palm or demerara sugar
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped
  • ½ ripe pineapple, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • A handful of canned bamboo shoots, drained and chopped (optional)
  • Approx. 1 litre ( pints) water
  • 4 tablespoons tamarind concentrate, dissolved in 150 ml (¼ pint) warm water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons beansprouts
  • 4 red chilli peppers, seeded and chopped
  • A handful of chopped fresh mint and a few slivers of spring onions, to garnish


Mix together the prawns, garlic and a little of the fish sauce. Season with pepper and leave to marinate for 30 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the shallots and lemon grass, and quickly sauté, but do not brown them. Add the sugar and tomatoes and cook until they have slightly softened. Pop in the pineapple and bamboo shoots, if you are using them, and continue cooking for a few minutes. Give it all a really good stir.

Tip in the water and, when it is boiling, mix in the tamarind liquid, the remaining fish sauce and salt. Reduce the heat and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Add the prawns, beansprouts and chillies and cook for about 3 minutes, until the prawns are tender. Discard the lemon grass blades. Serve scattered with the mint and spring onion.