This lovely recipe comes from "The Wok Bible - The Complete Book Of Stir-Fry Cooking", by Sunil Vijayakar, Becky Johnson and Jenni Fleetwood.
The Balinese base this popular soup on beans, but any seasonal vegetables can be added or substituted. The recipe also includes shrimp paste, which is known locally as terasi.
225g green beans
1,5l lightly salted water
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
2 macadamia nuts or 4 almonds, finely chopped
1cm cube shrimp paste
2-3 tsp coriander seeds, dry-fried
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely sliced
400ml coconut milk
2 bay leaves
8 thin lemon wedges
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt and ground black pepper
1. Bring the lightly salted water to the boil, add the beans to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking water. Set the beans aside.
2. Dry-fry the coriander seeds for about 2 minutes until the aroma is released.
Finely grind the chopped garlic, macadamia nuts or almonds, shrimp paste and the coriander seeds to a paste using a pestle and mortar or in a food processor.
3. Heat a wok, add the oil and when it's hot, fry the onion until transparent. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add the nut paste to the wok and fry it for 2 minutes without allowing it to brown.
4. Pour in the reserved vegetable water. Spoon off 3-4 tbsp of the cream from the top of the coconut milk and set it aside. Add the remaining coconut milk to the wok, bring to the boil and add the bay leaves. Cook, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes.
5. Just before serving, reserve a few beans, fried onions and beansprouts for garnish and stir the rest into the soup.
Add the lemon wedges, reserved coconut milk, lemon juice and seasoning; warm through, stirring well.
6. Put into individual soup bowls and serve, garnished with the reserved beans, onion and beansprouts.
It is delicious, very refreshing and... anyone can cook!