A quick and easy fragrant paste made with ginger and turmeric can turn a simple stock into a fragrant broth that's perfect with mussels, a few pieces of fish or both. Here we've used mung bean noodles, sometimes referred to as bean-thread noodles. In their place, rice noodles work well, and the broth is also lovely with the addition of leafy Asian vegetables such as gai lan.
- 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 500 ml chicken stock (2 cups)
- 1 lemongrass stalk (white part only), bruised with the side of a cleaver
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 kg mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- 3 vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into wedges
- 300 gm mung bean noodles
- 150 gm bean sprouts
- Coriander sprigs, to serve
- Lime juice and roasted chilli flakes (see note), to serve
Fragrant ginger paste
- 30 gm ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 10 gm fresh turmeric, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 golden shallots, coarsely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1For fragrant ginger paste, pound ingredients and a large pinch of salt to a smooth paste with a mortar and pestle.
- 2Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add paste and stir-fry until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Add
stock, lemongrass and 500ml water and simmer for flavours to develop (5-6 minutes). Add fish
sauce and bring to the boil, then add mussels and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, removing
them with tongs as they open (3-5 minutes). Add tomatoes to stock and return to a simmer, then
season to taste and keep warm.
- 3Place mung bean noodles in a large heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water and stand, stirring
occasionally, until tender (2-3 minutes). Drain well.
- 4Transfer noodles to bowls, snipping at intervals with kitchen scissors to separate them as you go.
Top with mussels, ladle in broth and tomatoes, scatter with bean sprouts and coriander, add lime
juice and roasted chilli flakes and serve.
Dry-roast whole dried red chillies, then finely crush with a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder.
Drink Suggestion: Tangy soured ale. Drink suggestion by Max Allen