Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Pan Asian prawn soup





As probably has been very evident from the last few posts, I had a major pig-out weekend (and there are still one or two recipes left unposted from the carb binge). Now it's time to work off all that wobble that went straight to the derriere. I have ran, cycled, pumped, bootcamped and combatted. But the most important thing to remember is, you can't outrun a bad diet (ironically, a sentence that often plays on repeat in my head while I'm running). 


My go-to trick when I'm trying to cut calories is soups. I can't eat a tiny bit of food, no matter how much calories it would have I feel hungry unless I get to dig into a big portion. And with soup, you get to eat a huge bowl and it's still possible to keep it relatively low calorie, especially if you don't add any starch carbs like root veg. 


I got the inspiration for this soup when browsing Pinterest (quelle surprise), and it's from a lovely blog called Food and whine. I did end up changing the recipe a bit, especially since coconut milk is a luxury of several hundred kcals that I can't afford right now. But I think it did turn out pretty nice anyways. If you didn't binge on unhealthy stuff last weekend and can afford the calories, I'm sure the coconut milk would make it all that extra bit more creamy and dreamy. If you want to be really strict with your carbs, leave out the noodles. The rice noodles I was using actually had some corn starch in them as well, but it was the only type of rice noodles I could find when I went grocery shopping. I guess I should go and have a look in some Asian food markets, I'm sure there has to be all-rice noodles somewhere. I would have left out the noodles, but I'm planning a long run on Friday, so I rationalised to myself that I really need the extra carbs (I'm very good at self-deception, I'm sure you have noticed by now). 


Prawn and noodle soup (serves 2-3):
1 tbsp toasted sesame seed oil
1 onion
2 stalks of celery
1 carrot
1 sweet pepper
piece of ginger root
2 cloves of garlic
180g sugarsnap peas
4 scallions
1-2 tbsp curry or chilli paste (I used Rendang, a Malaysian medium spicy curry paste)
1-2 tsp Tamarind paste
1 lemon
150 g rice noodles (I used the ready-to-wok type, which are pre-cooked)
180 g king prawns (cooked and ready to use)
coriander


The howto:
Chop onion, celery, carrot and pepper finely. Fry in oil for a good few minutes, and meanwhile, chop up ginger and garlic. Add them to the pan, and fry for another minute or so. Add 2 cups (500 ml) of water and bring to a boil. Cut pea pods in half and chop scallions, and add. Add curry/chilli paste and Tamarind to taste. Grate some lemon zest into the soup, as well as the juice from the lemon. Let cook for about five minutes. When ready to serve, add prawns and noodles, give them a minute or so. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve immediately.


One serving (half of the recipe) contains 360 kcal (9.4 g fat, 46 g carbs of which 18 g sugar and 16 g protein).


The verdict:

This literally only took a few minutes to whip up, I think chopping up all the veg took more time than the actual cooking. I particularly liked the sweetness when you bit into a sugarsnap pea. And the prawns stayed lovely and juicy because they only warm up a bit but don't have time to cook at all so that they would turn that horrible rubbery texture that prawns easily get if over cooked. The tamarind sauce added a nice sweet and sour taste that went well with the prawns and veggies. Like I said before, probably even better with coconut milk, but very good like this as well. And very healthy, this goes a good way towards your five a day. I was actually going to throw in some spinach in the soup also, as I have some in the fridge that need to be used up very soon, but in my haste to get some food in me after my workout, I forgot all about the spinach. I'll add it in next time. 

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