The Storks of Böbs

The Storks of Böbs
A Very Fine Pair

South East Asian Spicy and Sour Prawn Soup

Kikoklu goes SE Asia 13.04.2018

Through out all of SE Asia you will find the hot (spicy) and sour soups, they are, more or less all a variety on a theme, the holy trinity of Galangal, Lemon grass and Kaffir Lemon leaves. Add to this the standard shrimp paste, hot chilli paste (phrik pao), herbs and you have it, whatever its called.

Our good friends Martin and Marianne had done a short tasting tour, not tasting in the sense of food, though that was of course a part of it, but what the Germans would call a schnupper- tour, just testing the waters. They were so taken with Vietnam that Marianne is returning for a longer visit this coming year (it’s her Sabbatical year) before passing through some of the other SE Asian countries on her way to Tasmania. Martin thought that this was Eden, that other paradise set in the South China Sea.  I tend to agree with him I loved it when I last visited her in 2013, the first time I was there was during the Vietnam war but then we only got to see a couple of ports in the Mekong Delta and then only for 24 hrs.
I have been thinking about returning once again, but as I advance in age and my health declines (diabetes), though I still find the idea of “Back-Packing” exciting, I doubt if my health would stand up to the rigours of the hard bus journeys, therefore it would either be train of fly.

So, without more ado lets get onto the Soup.

Tom Yam Kung

Ingredients for 6 people:

24 shell on prawns (I would have loved to get head on as the heads these gives a wonderful additional taste, alas the fish-monger had none)
2 ltr. of fish stock (jars are ok if you don’t have any frozen away)

2 tbsps. of Phrik Pao paste (I made my own, but you can buy it in most good Asian shops, see separate recipe)

4 Limes

3 diced Lemon, grass stems (I had some in the freezer)

3 whole lemon grass stems bruised.

2 tsps. of crushed, ground galangal.

8-10 Kafir Lime leaves

1 large shallot diced

3 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp. of shrimp paste (stinks but is a must )
3 tbsp. of fish sauce

1 tin of straw mushrooms cut in half

200g of oyster mushrooms sliced
6 small birds eye chillies

12 cherry tomatoes (halved)
2 spring onions (whites only)

A sprig or two of Thai Basil

A bunch of Coriander.
First make the Phrik Pao paste. This may seem a faff, but it is at this stage that you can adjust most of the flavours to suit your taste.

Dry ingredients
6 dried anchovies

50g of small dried shrimps
3 dried chillies (I had a selection of scotch bonnets left over from last year’s harvest)

1 Tsp. of hot chilli powder 

Fresh ingredients
3 or 4 fresh chillies

2 cloves of garlic

1large shallot

½ the bunch of coriander including the stalks
First grind the dry ingredients (I have my trusty Moulinette  for this), then set aside, next grind the fresh stuff and blend in the with the dried, I then put the lot in a pestle and mortar and gave it all a good pounding, I love using the pestle and mortar, it is not only a great way to release all the aesthetic oils and flavours, but it has great therapeutic properties (well at least I think so).

Dried Anchovies

Pounding the Phrik Pho
Set aside to add to the fish stock etc at a later stage.

Remove the shells from the prawns devein and fry in a little oil.

Peeling the prawns and frying the shells
off the heat and allow to cool covered.

Add  the chopped lemon grass

Add the prawn shells
Heat 500ml of the fish stock, add the 3 diced lemon grass stems, the shrimp paste, the fish sauce, the prawn shells, 2-3 tbsp. of your (or bought) Phrik Pao paste, bring to the boil for 3 minutes, turn off the heat and allow to cool.

Add the Phrik Po paste

Putting the soup together, strain the stock through a very fine sieve pressing it with a ladle or large spoon (I used a fish slice as it was lying handy), into the remaining fish stock. Chuck the residue.
A good  teaspoon of prawn paste and 2 table spoons of Phrik Pao paste

Next add the three bruised Lemon grass stems, Tear the Kafir Lime leaves into pieces (doesn’t have to be fancy as you are not supposed to eat them, though I do), add the juice of 1 of the limes (I cut the other 3 into wedges and serve along with the soup so that everyone can add more if they require it with a bit more sour taste, just as I serve a pot of the Phrik Pao so that everyone can adjust the heat in their own bowl.

Add the Straw and Oyster Mushrooms, bring to the boil. Add the halved tomatoes and chopped chillies, we are almost there.

In most recipes you will find that sugar is added, as I am a diabetic and the cook, I add none!
Divide the soup between 6 bowls. Cut the lemon grass into 6 pieces, adding a piece to each bowl, this is more for decoration than anything else as the lemon grass will have done its job.
Just before serving heat the prawns in the soup until they just turn pink (don’t overcook, well you can if you relish eating rubber) add 4 to each bowl, decorate each bowl with a few Thai Basil leaves and some Coriander, that’s it eat, it steaming hot.

Go on Martin eat it, it's not going to kill you, or?

Next was Martins Summer Rolls and Mariannes Mango Salad
Martin was busy putting these together as we arrived
Wonderful fresh, crispy vegetables and prawns wrapped in the soft rice paper. These were served with 2 dips one a fresh lime and the other a spicy hot chillie dip.

Caroline and Martin under starters orders and waiting for the rest of the runners and riders
Marianne had made a smashing mango salad with red and yellow peppers, spring onions to go along with Martins summer rolls.
The salad had a nice ginger dressing, chopped coriander leaves to decorate or not as your want (Kalle is not a great lover of this herb so he didn't).
We then laid in a bit of a pause, Martin put some photo's up on the TV of their trip to Vietnam over last Christmas and New year, then Linda and Kalle went into the kitchen to do the prep for the next course.
Marianne looking  very Vietnamese like in her top.

Kalle's Salmon Skewers and Linda's Thai Crab Cakes.

Served with a Cucumber Relish and a Chilli jam (from the Hairy Bikers), Kalle had made a Wasabi and Mayonnaise. 
The two kitchen aids beavering away

Kalle marinating the salmon kebabs before rolling in black and white sesame seeds
and under the grill for a few minutes
The Sesame/Salmon skewers with Mayonnaise Wasabi dip, Thai crab cakes with Chilli Jam and a Cucumber Relish

Martins Chicken dish

This was supposed to have been served with rice, but we all agreed by this time we were all to full to eat Carbohydrates, so it was just the chicken

And so finally to Carolines Sautéed pineapple with a spiced syrup

Kumami Köpenick, a restaurant review

Linda’s 60th Birthday Present (belated) and my early 70th

We had decided a while ago when Janice and Martin had said that Linda’s birthday present would be a Japanese meal in Berlin. They had discovered a new small Japanese restaurant in the middle of old Köpenick just a short tram ride from their new house. We looked after Aidan on the Friday and then on Saturday Tante Mohrle done a bit of babysitting while we went Asian.

The Restaurant is situated not far from the Rathaus made famous by Wilhelm Voigt (alias Heinz Rühmann) in the Hauptmann von Köpenick.

For you that don't know Köpenick, I would just say you should get yourself out there, it is situated on the shore of the Muggelsee in the south of Berlin (it didn't become part of Berlin until the 1920s). It is here that the short river the Dahme joins the Spree. The total length is only 95km in length and it rises in the Spreewald (also worth a visit) at a small town called strangely enough Dahme. (I think it is a place to visit in the spring when I have the camper on the road again)

The restaurant is quite small with only one table, though this does seat about 12, the table is actually a pair of polished timber planks (Walnut) with a burlap middle filled with wine corks. The walls are plain brick where the plaster has been hacked off, simple but effective. There is some of the original ceiling architrave remaining, crying back to a bygone era of luxury prior to the DDR.

Daughter had booked well in advance and as we were the only ones eating this early our places were immediately evident, there were four places all neatly laid out.

We divested (it was bloody cold out so we were well clad) and took our places at the wonderful table.
The waitress (also one of the owners) came and handed out the menu card and drinks list. The menu is a take it or leave it one, there is only one set menu, and a few add ones if you wish. The menu was to all our tastes and looked wonderful.

The menu was as follows:
1)       Sea Bass poached in a Dashi broth, decorated with pea shoots and finely sliced radishes  


22)      Obanzi – A selection of small starters (differs each day)

33)      Salmon Tartar on a bed of rice, topped with trout caviar and of course wasabi

44)      Trout Ponzu- Tranche of trout, wrapped in vine leaves and baked in a salt crust. The chef actually presented it at the table and broke it open serving each parcel separately.

55)      Scallop baked in the shell with a white miso sauce and mushrooms

66)      Finally there (main course wise) Roe deer leg filet, served with shredded dashi, red cabbage and         kale.


That was it for me, though the rest had deserts, martin a roasted green tea brûlée with a vanilla ice      cream. 

Janice and Linda both had the chocolate selection of the day.

        Martin and I both had beer served in small metal tumblers (I was a little surprised that they didn’t     have a Japanese beer, but you can’t have everything) Janice and Linda shared a carafe of rose.

I     I must say I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food, all perfectly cooked and served with aplomb and courtesy. The waitress and cook are married and this is a wonderful innovative restaurant venture.
      The name of the restaurant is made up of parts of their first names Kum and Ami. I do wish this venture well and will pop in again, when the weather gets a bit warmer. One splendid addition is the toilet seats they are as is usual in Japan a warm water bidet type, a nice touch, if you get the slant of my draw.