The best way to use your shrimp / lobster / prawn shells is to make a soup base which can be used for different types of soup. My favorite is definitely tom yum gong (the recipe which I will share soon). You can make a big batch, put them in ziplock bags and freeze until you need it for your recipe.

The following recipe makes 1.5L of soup base.


  • 500grams of prawns
  • 2 tablespoons of minced shallot
  • 3 tablespoons of white wine
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 2 liters of boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon of chili flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste



  1. Wash the prawns. Remove the head and shells of the prawns. The flesh of the prawns can be saved for other recipes. I usually use mine for tom yum gong soup or prawn salad.
  2. Wash the shells. Use a tea towel to pat dry the shells.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pot. Add the shallots and fry on medium heat until fragrant. Add the garlic and red chili flakes and fry for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the prawn shells and fry for 2-3minutes until fragrant. Add the white wine and continue to fry for a few minutes until the wine has evaporated.
  5. Add the water to the shells and boil at medium heat. When the soup starts boiling, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 45minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Let the soup base cool to room temperature. Blend with a high speed blender or a stick blender.
  7. Pour the soup through a sift to remove any large chunks of shells.
  8. The soup is ready for use.


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