Monday, 27 August 2012

My Kitchen Disaster: Tamarind Prawn Soup With Pineapple

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Have you ever had a kitchen disater?  Let me tell you about mine.  I discovered this gorgeous Vietnamese recipe on Tamarind soup by the Ravenous Couple.  Had I followed the instructions I probably would have ended up with a very delicious result.

The original recipe called for ingredients such as okra, elephant ear stems, bean sprouts and  rice paddy herbs.  I also wanted to manipulate the sugar and salt content of this recipe, so what did I do?  I omitted the ingredients that I didn't have and substituted with 2 garlic cloves sliced, a teaspoon of peppercorns for punch and a thumb sized piece of ginger.

I then reduced the sugar to a tablespoon and used only 2 cups of fish stock and 1 cup of boiling water (instead of 2 tablespoons of sugar and 3 cups of fish stock).  I wasn't entirely sure what the final amount of tamarind pulp that the recipe recommended so I used approximately 50g.  I also threw in chopped mint and 1/4 cup of quinoa for extra protein.

The final result was an extremely sweet soup that was not balanced with sourness and savoury flavours.

I wanted to share this experience with you as I wondered how many of you have tried to manipulate a recipe in an effort to increase it's nutritional profile.  I clearly am no expert in Vietnamese cuisine and hence my kitchen disaster.  When attempting to control the salt content in this recipe, consider reducing the sugar content too.  In hindsight, I could have done without the sugar completely and used only a 1/4 of the pineapple.  This may have led to a more favourable outcome.  Cooking experts, what do you think?

This is a perfect example to illustrate that sometimes, following the original recipe is best if you are not sure what the final product should taste like.  It may also be in your best interest to simply have a smaller portion of the original food item and fill up on vegetables or fruit for dessert.  It's not always easy to do this.  For example, if you have kidney disease and require dialysis, soups are tricky as they need to be counted within your fluid allowance but are also very high in salt.  And then of course there's the potassium from the pineapple and tomatoes that need to be considered.  Recipe manipulation is necessary but in this case, perhaps tricky.

And so you have it my lovely readers, my kitchen disaster!  Have you had any that you are willing to share?