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About this recipe: This light, refreshing soup has flavours that are characteristic of Chinese cookery: sesame, ginger and star anise. The dried mushrooms and dried shrimps can be found in larger supermarkets and Oriental food stores.
For a tasty variation, cook fish balls in the stock. To make the fish balls, put 150 g (5½ oz) skinless cod or haddock fillet in a blender or food processor with 1 spring onion, chopped, 1 cm (½ in) piece fresh root ginger, chopped, 1 tbsp beaten egg and 1 tbsp cornflour, and process until smooth. Chill the mixture while making the shrimp stock and soaking the mushrooms. Roll the fish mixture into 16 small balls. In step 3, omit the cooked shrimps or prawns and drop the fish balls into the boiling stock when you add the noodles. Cook for 2–3 minutes or until the balls float to the surface. Add 45 g (1½ oz) baby spinach leaves and bring back to the boil. Serve with shredded coriander leaves scattered over the top. * The soup can also be served as a light lunch dish. Simply add double the quantity of egg noodles (170 g/6 oz) and shrimps or prawns (250 g/9 oz).
The variety of ingredients used in this tasty soup provides lots of essential nutrients, but the result is still very low in calories. * Shrimps and prawns are a good source of calcium, an essential mineral for healthy bones and teeth. * For centuries, ginger has been recognised as having medicinal properties, particularly aiding digestion and preventing nausea. Ginger biscuits are often recommended to pregnant women to help relieve the symptoms of morning sickness.
B1, niacin, copper * B12, calcium, iron, selenium * B6, potassium, zinc