Rated one of the top 10 soups in the world
4 stalks, Lemongrass
6 leaves, Kaffir lime
5 pieces, Galangal – peeled and sliced thinly
1 pound, Shrimp – unpeeled
8 ounces, mushrooms – optional
2 limes – juiced
2 tablespoons, fish sauce
6 cups, chicken stock
2 tablespoons, green onion – sliced 1/4″
2 tablespoons, cilantro – coarsely chopped
5 pods, Thai chilies – optional
3 tablespoons, Nam Phrik Pao
1/2 cup, coconut milk – optional
3 tomatoes – quartered optional
- FOR SOUP: Peel and devein shrimp reserving shells.
- In a Dutch oven, bring stock to a boil. Tie shrimp shells in a cheese cloth sack. Add shells to boiling broth.
- Crush lemongrass with a mallet and cut them down to fit your pot. Cut diagonal slits in lemongrass leaving them whole.
- Tear Kaffir leaves. Using cheese cloth and string, create a bouquet garni with the lemongrass stalks, Kaffir leaves and the galangal slices.
- Add the bouquet garni to the pot and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Season the soup with fish sauce and additional salt to taste. Remove the shrimp shells but leave the bouquet garni.
- Increase heat to high and add the shrimp and mushrooms and tomatoes if using. Bring to a boil then take it off the heat.
- Add Nam Phrik Pao, crushed chilies (if using), lime juice (to taste), and coconut milk if using. Just before serving remove bouquet garni and add green onion and cilantro.
- Serve with white rice or rice noodles.
- FOR NOODLES: Boil water. Place noodles in a strainer inside a larger bowl. Pour boiling water over noodles until covered and let sit for 1 minute and 15 seconds. Remove colander and rinse with cool water briefly. Separate the noodles now or they will stick together. Place in serving bowl and ladle soup over.