Caldu Pescador (Fisherman's Soup)

  • 400 g (14 oz) 12 to 15 medium sized prawns
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt (or sea  salt)
  • 200 g (7 oz) white fish fillet
  • 300 g (10½ oz) 10 small fresh squid
  • 1 tsp. tamarind pulp
  • 2250 ml (9½ cups) of water
  • 3 slices of dried tamarind or equivalent tamarind pulp
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 5 shallots or ½ onion peeled and chopped roughly
  • 3 stalks lemon grass (bruised)
  • 2 fresh red chillies (halved lengthwise)
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon or lime juice (optional)
  • 1 stalk coriander leaves

  1. Wash prawns; trim off feelers and legs, leaving heads and shells intact. Rub coarse salt to remove any slime and odour, leave for 5 mins. Rinse well and drain.
  2. Carefully pull tentacles and heads away from bodies of squid and discard. Remove innards and any cartilaginous matter. Rub and peel off thin skin. Wash bodies well, taking care to rinse out cavaties. Slit bodies open and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Cut fish fillet into cubes.
  4. Soak tamarind pulp in 120 ml (½ cup) of the warm water for 5 mins and extract the juice by squeezing the tamarind into another bowl.
  1. Bring remaining 2100ml (9 cups) of water to boil in a large (about 4 litres or 4 quart) pot.
  2. Add garlic, shallots and lemon grass and boil for 3 mins.
  3. Lower heat, add tamarind juice and simmer for 10 mins. 
  4. Add chillies and simmer for a further 2 mins.
  5. Add squid and cook for 1 min. Put in prawns and cook for 3 mins. Do not overcook. Remove from heat the squid (when tender) and prawns (when pink).
  6. Add fish and cook for 5 mins.
  7. Taste and add lime or lemon juice if desired. 
  8. Add the prawns and squid back to the soup when ready to serve.
  9. Garnish with coriander leaves.