Hana-Ebi No Sumashi-Jiru (Clear Broth with Flower Prawns)

A tasty prawn broth.


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. Sprinkle the prawns with the cornflour.
  3. Heat the fish stock to boiling, then add the prawns.
  4. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the prawn flesh is opaque.
  5. Remove the prawns with a slotted spoon.
  6. Cut the asparagus into 5cm/2in lengths.
  7. Peel and slice the carrots, and cut the slices into flower shapes with a small metal cutter.
  8. Add the mushroom caps to the simmering liquid and cook for 2 minutes.
  9. Cook the asparagus pieces and the carrots in the broth for 8-10 minutes.
  10. Remove the mushroom caps, carrot and asparagus with a slotted spoon and sprinkle them with the rice wine.
  11. Divide the prepared prawns, mushrooms, carrot and asparagus into 4 individual soup bowls.
  12. Add the second amount of fish stock and the soy sauce to the cooking liquid and heat to boiling.
  13. Pour the soup into the bowls and garnish with the lime or lemon zest.


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