½ kg green prawns, peeled and deveined (keep shells)
1 tbls rice bran oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbls sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ginger, grated
500ml fish stock
1 tsp five spice powder
3 bundles vermicelli rice noodles, soaked in hot water then drained
2 cup bean sprouts, washed and drained
1 cup crab meat (optional)
4 spring onions, sliced on the diagonal
1 small cucumber, deseeded and diced
1 long red chilli, finely sliced
Wash and drain prawn shells. Heat the rice bran oil in a wok and stir fry the shells with the salt over a high heat until they turn pink. Cover generously with filtered water and let simmer for about 15 mins. Strain.
Put the shells in a processor or blender with some fish stock and blend for a few seconds. Pass it though a fine sieve then keep the stock for later. Discard the shell pulp.
In a soup pot heat the sesame oil then add the garlic and ginger. When it starts to change colour add the fish stock you’ve made together with 500ml of fish stock, and the prawns. Bring it to the boil then drop back to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Now add the spice.
To serve, divide the noodles between 4-6 bowls and top with the sprouts. Pour the hot liquid over then garnish with crab meat, onions, cucumber and chilli.