1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
2 TBSP dried lemongrass
5 kaffir lime leaves
1/2 TBSP fresh ginger, sliced
2 Thai red or green chilies, sliced
1 TBSP fish sauce, such as nam pla
3/4 tsp sugar (optional)
4-ounces canned straw mushrooms, rinsed
1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled with tails on
1 lime, juiced
1/2 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
Bring the stock and water to the boil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, and chiles. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes to let the spices infuse the broth. For convenience, I remove the lemongrass and lime leaves from the liquid before adding the shrimp. Authentic versions of the soup leave them in, you are expected to avoid eating them in your soup bowl.
Uncover and add the fish sauce and sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes. Toss in the shrimp and cook on very low heat (so the shrimp stay tender and juicy) for about 8 minutes until they turn pink. Remove from the heat and add the lime juice, green onions, mushrooms and cilantro. Taste for salt and spices; you should have an equal balance of spicy, salty, and sour. Keep tasting and adjusting with salt, fresh lime juice and if its not hot enough, one or two finely minced green chillies. Serve hot.
Notes: I also consulted Thai Foodby David Thompson (a 2003 IACP and James Beard award-winner) and Vatch's Thai Street Foodby Vatcharin Bhumichitr. I think next time I would like to use two stalks fresh lemongrass (sliced on a bias in 2 inch pieces). My taste probably runs to more lime than some, too. Overall, this came out rather well, I thought.Posted by Jennifer at February 4, 2008 8:26 PM | TrackBack