Sunday, February 28, 2016

Seafood Soup(Chinese Continental Fusion)

Seafood Soup was not my favourite anytime, for I had tried tasting Crab Sweetcorn soup at Hao Hao Chinese restaurant long ago and didn't like it much then. However, one try with Seafood Soup at Sanjay P Mallya's Coastal Mama Restaurant in Bengaluru on January 17 this year made me a fan of seafood soup instantly. Both the Mallya brothers, Sanjay and Sunil recommended me Seafood Soup and they were not wrong. Chef Madhav's cookery skills amazed me, when I tasted the soup made by him, which was sweet, tangy and hot, with a peppery tinge. Occasional appearance of seafood tit bits made it a wonderful starter!

What made me fall for seafood soup in spite of being a non liker of Chinese Seafood Soup? Well, there was some whiteness and smoothness within the seafood soup which Chef Madhav made that day at Coastal Mama, which added to taste and flavour, camouflaging the strong scent of seafood, making it more delectable. That white stuff is nothing but whole cream!

So without asking the chef or discussing anything about the ingredients that go into the seafood soup, I decided to try my luck with my own formula. Like I mentioned in earlier articles, once we get a hang of cooking, we can formulate our own dishes sensing the taste and flavour and by experience. I was lucky enough to achieve success at my very first attempt, and the soup turned out just fantastic! Our friend Uma Shenoi and my wife Meena gave a high five for the wonderful taste that lingered on, after they tasted the soup last evening.

Try and make this on a cold or warm day. It is equally refreshing round the year, but make sure that you get fresh prawns and squid before trying to make this. You can also add crab meat, but the total quantity of seafood should be well within 20% of the stock that you add, that is 200 Gms of cleaned seafood for 1 liter stock. You can also make chicken stock by boiling bony chicken pieces in water with pepper and ginger, and vegetable stock by boiling marrow vegetable peel and cabbage/cauliflower stalk. Also make it a point to buy tender squid, and shrimp instead of prawn. Tender seafood cooks faster and easy to bite on, while relishing the soup. That makes all the difference in consistency, taste and flavour.

Prawns - 125 Gms shelled and deveined
Squid - 125 Gms cleaned
White Pepper Powder - 2 Tsp
Diluted White Vinegar - 2 Tsp
Soy Sauce - 1 Tsp
Butter - 2 Tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 Tsp
Salt - 1/2 Tsp(or to taste)
Sugar - 2 Tsp
vegetable or chicken stock - Approx 1 Liter(2 Maggi soup cubes boiled in 1 liter water)
Corn Flour - 1 Tbsp mixed in 1/4 cup water to make a paste
Cream - 100 Ml
Spring Onion Shoot - 4 stalks finely chopped

Wash prawns and squid, pat dry and chop into tiny bits.
Marinate the chopped seafood with 1 Tsp vinegar, little salt and 1 tsp white pepper powder for 30 mins.
Melt butter in a saucepan and fry ginger garlic paste for 1 min.
Add marinated seafood, sugar and stir fry for 2-3 mins.
Now add the stock, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 5-7 mins or until the seafood has cooked.
Add corn starch paste, stir well, add remaining white pepper powder, vinegar, adjust salt and simmer for 1 min.
Now beat the cream and pour it into the soup in a thin stream as you keep stirring the soup vigorously.
Don't boil the soup, but simmer for another 2-3 mins.
Switch off the flame, sprinkle spring onion shoot and serve hot.

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