To serve 6-8 you need

For the paste

2-3 cloves garlic, peeled

2-3cm root ginger, peeled

1cm root turmeric or 3ml powdered

1 large shallot or a small white onion

2-3 chillies, remove pips if they are very strong or you want a milder flavour

Optional: ½ red pepper (capsicum) or Italian pimento pepper (these are milder and sweeter)

A handful of fresh coriander

1 stick of lemon grass or a few strips of lemon zest

100ml canola oil

100ml water

For the soup

1 ½ cans coconut milk

200ml stock (vegetable, fish, chicken or meat depending on what ingredients are adding)

Vegetables additions

For a vegetarian soup use about 500ml diced or sliced vegetables; if you are adding protein only add about 200ml vegetables

Options are diced butternut, sweet potato, sliced green beans or cauliflower florets, strips of red pepper

I usually add

250ml mushrooms (If you can find shitake and enoki these are the best, otherwise sliced white mushrooms)

Protein options

About 400ml of any of following

Seafood: calamari, prawns, mussels

Poultry: cooked, deboned diced chicken or duck

Meat: cooked, deboned gammon or roast pork


To adjust the flavours

Approximately 20ml Fish Sauce

Juice of 1 lime or lemon


2 nests of flat or vermicelli rice noodles, soaked in boiling water


To serve

A handful of fresh coriander

Optional: 2 spring onions finely sliced

Slices of lime or lemon

Finely sliced chilli or a few spoonfuls of your favourite chilli relish or sauce


To prepare

The paste: grind all the ingredients in a food processor or blender.

Pour the paste into a saucepan and heat. Allow the paste to cook for 2-3 minutes

Add the stock and coconut milk

Add vegetables that need the longest cooking first e.g. butternut or sweet potato, and let them simmer until they are beginning to soften, then add vegetables where you want to retain the texture e.g. green beans and mushrooms

I added cauliflower florets to soften slightly before I added the seafood

Add the protein component and heat through

Drain and add the noodles

Taste: add fish sauce and lime/lemon juice. Add a little more, if necessary

Pour into serving dish and top with coriander and spring onions