Thai Soup with Lily Buds - Serves 4
60 g/2 oz bean thread vermicelli
20 dried lily buds
6 dried shiitake mushrooms
300 g/10 oz raw prawns
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Thai pepper-coriander paste
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 spring onions (scallions), sliced
Drop vermicelli into boiling water and boil for 10 minutes. Drain. Soak lily buds and mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes. Cut off and discard mushroom stems and hard ends of lily buds. Tie the buds in a knot, or cut in half so they are bite-sized. Cut noodles into short lengths.
Shell and devein prawns. Rinse heads and shells, drain, and use for making stock. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan, when very hot add the shells and fry on high heat until they have turned red. Add 1 litre (2 pints) hot water, cover and boil for 20 minutes. Strain stock, discard shells.
Heat remaining tablespoon of oil and fry the onion until soft. Add pepper and coriander paste and stir over gentle heat for 2 minutes. Add prawns and fry, stirring, until they change colour. Add stock, lily buds, mushrooms and vermicelli and bring soup to the boil. Simmer 5 minutes, stir in fish sauce and sugar. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Pour egg slowly into the boiling soup, stirring so it forms shreds. Sprinkle with spring onions and serve.
Stir-Fried Lily Buds with Pork - Serves 2
200 g/7 oz fresh lily buds
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
3 tablespoons chopped coriander including root
125 g/4 oz minced pork
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon palm or brown sugar
2 tablespoons roasted, crushed peanuts
Wash lily buds and remove the green calyx from each. Heat peanut oil in a wok and fry the garlic and coriander root on low heat, stirring, until fragrant. Add pork, raise heat and stir-fry until no longer pink. Add lily buds and continue to toss and fry for 2 minutes. Add pepper, fish sauce, sugar and a splash of water, cover and simmer for 3 minutes. Sprinkle with crushed peanuts and serve with steamed rice.