Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up some energising summer Asian broths - Features - Food + Drink - The Independent

Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up some energising summer Asian broths

Bill Granger has had a thirst for Asian broths ever since he went travelling in his twenties

Asian soups make the ultimate one-bowl meals, completely turning on its head the idea that soups are only for cold, winter days. Yes, of course they're restorative, thanks to their comforting and often fierce clear broths. But more than anything else I find them invigorating – a light, yet filling pit stop in the middle of a busy day, or the perfect meal to end it.

I first fell in love with them during a trip to Indonesia in my twenties, when I saw taxi drivers, students and businessmen slurping noodle soup for breakfast. I've since had them in Thai markets and ramen bars in London, Sydney and Tokyo; basically wherever and whenever I get the opportunity.

As with all food trends, some fans are probably taking it all too seriously – becoming almost fanatical in their search for the perfect broth. For me, it's all about a quick, cleansing, satisfying meal that can be enjoyed whatever the weather.

Hot-and-sour soup with curried fish cakes

I love those sinus-cleansing soups you get in northern China. Here I've been inspired by their use of sourness and tomatoes, but also looked to the flavours of Thailand for fragrance and heat.

Serves 4

For the fishcakes

500g firm white fish
1 tbsp red curry paste
3 lime leaves, finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
Juice 1 lime
1 tbsp fish sauce
Handful coriander, chopped

For the soup

3 tbsp red curry paste
2 tbsp light-flavoured oil
1 litre chicken stock
3 slices fresh ginger
2 kaffir lime leaves
3 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
4 baby pak choi, halved
Juice 1 lime
2 tbsp fish sauce

To serve

Small bunch mint
Small bunch coriander

Place all the ingredients for the fishcakes in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture comes together, without becoming completely smooth. At this stage it might be too soft to shape, so chill in the fridge for 30 minutes if needed. Then, with wet hands, shape into golf-ball-sized fishcakes. Cover and keep in the fridge until needed.

For the soup, fry the curry paste in oil, add the chicken stock, 500ml of water, the ginger and lime leaves. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, fishcakes and pak choi and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, until the fishcakes are cooked. Season the soup with lime juice and fish sauce. Ladle into four bowls and serve with fresh herbs, for everyone to add to taste.

Clam and brown rice miso

You often get a few clams at the bottom of your miso soup in Japan. They give a beautiful salty seafood quality to your soup. With a bit of brown rice and maybe some steamed spinach on the side, I'd happily have this clean, light broth as a weekday meal.

Clam and brown rice miso is a clean, light broth that can be served as a weekday meal Clam and brown rice miso is a clean, light broth that can be served as a weekday meal (Tamin Jones)
Serves 4

500g clams
30g of butter
½ tsp chilli flakes
2cm ginger, cut into thin strips
3 tbsp mirin
300g cooked brown rice
100g mangetout, shredded
3 spring onions, shredded
2 tbsp white miso paste

Melt the butter in a wide-based, shallow pan over a moderate heat. Add the chilli and ginger and fry until fragrant. Tip in the clams and pour in the mirin. Cover and steam over a high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the clams have opened. Discard any that remain closed.

Divide the rice between 4 bowls. Top with the clams and cooking juices, mangetout and spring onion. Stir the miso paste into a jug with 800ml of boiling water from the kettle. Pour into the soup bowls and serve.

Chicken curry soup

Comforting, yet light and summery, this cure-all broth is Asia's answer to chicken noodle soup.

Bill's chicken curry soup is comforting, yet light and summery Bill's chicken curry soup is comforting, yet light and summery (Tamin Jones)
Serves 4

1 tbsp light-flavoured oil
3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 lemon-grass stalk, cut into thirds
1½ tbsp curry powder
750ml chicken stock
400ml tin coconut milk
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp caster sugar
500g chicken-breast fillets
150g choi sum, cut into lengths
250g rice noodles, soaked in water, drained and rinsed
Handful beansprouts

For the Onion relish

1 white onion, finely sliced on a mandoline
Handful coriander leaves
1 red chilli, cut in rounds
Juice ½ lime
1 tsp caster sugar

Combine all the ingredients for the relish in a bowl and set aside

For the soup, heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon grass and cook for 1 minute. Add the curry powder and cook for another minute. Pour in the stock, 750ml of water, coconut milk, fish sauce and caster sugar. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer.

Add the chicken and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the choi sum and remove from the heat. Leave for 3 minutes. Lift out the chicken and shred into large pieces. Divide the noodles between four bowls, top with the beansprouts and chicken. Ladle over the soup and serve with the relish.

Bill's restaurant, Granger & Co, is at 175 Westbourne Grove, London W11, tel: 020 7229 9111, and 50 Sekforde Street, London EC1, tel: 020 7251 9032, grangerandco.com. Follow Bill on Instagram at bill_granger

Food preparation: Marina Filippelli; Props merchandising: Rachel Jukes

Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
filmMatt Damon in talks to return
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Life and Style
tech... and together they're worth at least £100 million
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig is believed to be donning skies as 007 for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis
tvEllen E Jones on ITV's 'Cilla'
Life and Style
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
tech(but you can't escape: Bono is always on your iPhone)
Sport
Tim Wiese
sport
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week