Tom Khlong Pla (a sour fish soup)

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Another traditional Thai soup, and one that is very easy to make.  All ingredients are available locally but if you cannot get what you need in the supermarket, then send a Thai friend to the local markets who will be able to find everything extremely cheaply.  (Even if you can find everything at the supermarket, it is worth an hour just to scour the local markets and see the huge range that is available – and the prices!)  As usual, you can decrease the amount of chilli spiciness by reducing the number of chillies used.

Ingredients Serves 2-3

Dried fish (or fresh shrimp) 300 gm

Water 3 cups

Shallots 5-6

Salt (or 2-3 tbsp. fish sauce) 1 tbspn

Lemon juice to taste

Young tamarind flowers or leaves 1 cup

Hot chillies 5

Cooking Method

Wash fish and roast over grill until fragrant, and cut into small slices.  In a pot, bring the water to a boil then add crushed shallots and fish.  Boil until fish is tender, skimming off froth.  Add tamarind flowers and season with lemon juice and salt (or fish sauce) to obtain a sour and salty taste.  Add chillies and serve hot.  (If shrimp is used, remove shell and vein, boil for a short time then proceed as above.)