In the bowl there's an explosion of flavours and textures that have you gasping for breath at every mouthful and wiping your eyes after every spoonful.
1 white-snapper fillet
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1/4 cup spring onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp sesame oil
3 shallots, sliced finely
2 lemongrass stalks, cut into 3cm lengths and crushed
6 cups of water or chicken stock
1 small chili, seeded and thinly sliced (optional)
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tomatoes, seeded and cut into wedges
pinch of sea salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
Bunch of basil leaves, divided on to 2 portion (for garnish)
2 limes, cut into wedges
Place fish fillet into a bowl with the fish sauce, pepper and spring onions. Allow to marinate in the fridge while you make the soup.
In a deep pot, heat the oil. Add the shallots and lemongrass. Saute for 3 minutes, then add the water or chicken stock and simmer for 20 minutes.Pass this stock through a fine sieve into a deep pot. Bring to the boil and add chili, sugar and fish sauce.
Simmer on a low flame for 5 minutes, then drop in the marinated fish fillet, tomato wedges, salt and pepper.
Cook for a further 3-5 minutes or until fish is cooked. Pour in the lime juice and stir in bunch of basil leaves.
Serve in individual bowls with basil leaves and a wedge of lime.