Hana-Ebi No Sumashi-Jiru (Clear Broth with Flower Prawns)
- 8 prawns
- 2 tblsp cornflour
- 500 ml niban dashi (good fish stock)
- 8 fresh asparagus stalks (trimmed)
- 8 small carrots
- 4 fresh shiitake mushroom caps, etched with a cross on top (these mushrooms are available in good supermarkets or delicatessen)
- 1 tblsp mirin (sweet rice wine)
- 1 l good fish stock
- 2 tsp light soy sauce
- 2 teaspoond finely julienned lime or lemon zest
- Using a small sharp knife carefully devein each prawn by making a small slit in the centre of the body and pulling the tail through the slit to create a resemblance to a flower.
- Sprinkle the prawns with the cornflour.
- Heat the fish stock to boiling, then add the prawns.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the prawn flesh is opaque.
- Remove the prawns with a slotted spoon.
- Cut the asparagus into 5cm/2in lengths.
- Peel and slice the carrots, and cut the slices into flower shapes with a small metal cutter.
- Add the mushroom caps to the simmering liquid and cook for 2 minutes.
- Cook the asparagus pieces and the carrots in the broth for 8-10 minutes.
- Remove the mushroom caps, carrot and asparagus with a slotted spoon and sprinkle them with the rice wine.
- Divide the prepared prawns, mushrooms, carrot and asparagus into 4 individual soup bowls.
- Add the second amount of fish stock and the soy sauce to the cooking liquid and heat to boiling.
- Pour the soup into the bowls and garnish with the lime or lemon zest.