Chinese seafood soup

This light, refreshing soup has flavours that are characteristic of Chinese cookery: sesame, ginger and star anise. The dried mushrooms and shrimp paste add an intense depth to the dish; you'll find them in larger supermarkets and Asian grocery stores.

Chinese seafood soup


  • 1 tablespoon dried shrimp paste
  • 2.5 cm (1 inch) piece fresh ginger, sliced
  • 4 spring onions (scallions), chopped
  • 1 star anise
  • 6 dried Chinese mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup (90 g) canned bamboo shoots, cut into fine matchsticks
  • 125 g (4 oz) cooked prawns (shrimp), peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons salt–reduced soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 75 g (2½ oz) wok–ready thin Chinese egg noodles
  • fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, to garnish


  1. To make the stock, put all of the ingredients into a large saucepan and add 6 cups (1.
  2. 5 litres) water.
  3. Bring to the boil, skimming off any impurities that rise to the surface, then cover with a lid and simmer for 1 hour.
  4. Strain the stock into a bowl, discarding all of the flavourings, and set aside.
  5. Rinse the dried mushrooms in cold water and put them in a bowl.
  6. Pour over enough boiling water to cover and set aside to soak for 20 minutes.
  7. Drain, then discard the stalks and thinly slice the caps.
  8. Heat the sesame oil in a large saucepan over medium–high heat.
  9. Add the ginger and stir–fry for 30 seconds, then add the stock and mushrooms and bring to the boil.
  10. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes, then add the spring onions, bamboo shoots, prawns, soy sauce and fish sauce, stirring to combine.
  11. Bring back to the boil, then add the noodles and simmer for 2–3 minutes, or until softened.
  12. Divide the soup among serving bowls, sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve hot.

Serves 4
Preparation: 15 minutes, plus 20 minutes soaking
Cooking: 1¼ hours


Low Fat No Fat Asian Cooking

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