To make the sambal sauce, gently fry the shallots or onion and garlic in the groundnut oil until soft. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil, cook for a few minutes, then rub through a sieve. Put in a bowl, and cover until required. (It will keep for a few days in the refrigerator.)
To make the soup, blanch the noodles in boiling water for 3–4 minutes, drain and refresh under cold water, and put to one side. Poach the chicken meat for 8 minutes, and then shred it. Put the stock and coconut milk in a saucepan, add the tamarind paste or lemon juice, ginger, lime leaves or lemon grass and shrimp paste. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the prawns, chicken, bean sprouts, cucumber and noodles. Bring to the boil and serve immediately.
Hand the sambal sauce and the other accompaniments separately for people to stir into their soup as they wish.
© 1995 Frances Bissell. All rights reserved.