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 prawns add intense flavour; they can be found in larger supermarkets and Asian food stores.
For the prawn stock
25g dried prawns
2.5cm piece fresh ginger, sliced
4 spring onions
1 whole star anise
1.5 litres water
For the soup
6 dried Chinese mushrooms (about 20g in total)
1 tsp sesame oil
3cm piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
⅓ cup (50g) canned, drained bamboo shoots, cut into fine matchsticks
Put all the ingredients for the stock in a large saucepan with the water – there's no need to peel or chop the ginger and spring onions as they will be discarded after cooking. Bring to the boil, skimming off any scum, then cover with a lid and simmer for 1 hour. Strain the stock into a bowl and discard the flavourings.
While the stock is simmering, rinse the dried mushrooms in cold water and put them in a bowl. Pour over boiling water to cover and leave to soak for 20 minutes. Drain, then discard the tough stalks and cut the mushroom caps into thin slices.
Heat the sesame oil in a large saucepan, add the ginger and cook for 30 seconds, stirring. Add the prawn stock and soaked mushrooms, bring to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the spring onions, bamboo shoots, prawns, and soy and fish sauces. Bring back to the boil, then add the noodles and simmer for 2–3 minutes or until softened. Serve hot, sprinkled with coriander leaves.