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home > recipes > soups > thai lemongrass soup with shrimp
Okay, here it is. This tastes quite a bit different from Chinese hot-and-sour (which I've never liked much); most notably, it is thin. The flavor is deliciously complex. The recipe is in two parts. The first part is for the chili-tamarind paste that flavors the soup. Apparently this paste is also available premade at ethnic groceries, but I haven't tried it. Chili-Tamarind Paste: 1/2 cup dried shrimp (large ones, if available, but small worked fine) 1 3/4 cup vegetable or peanut oil 1/3 cup sliced garlic 1 cup sliced shallots 12 small dried Japanese chilies (red, about 2" long, sold in bags) 3 tablepoons Tamarind Sauce (recipe follows) or storebought tamarind concentrate 3 tablespoons coconut-palm or golden-brown sugar 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce (Squid brand is the best I've found, or Tiparos) Rinse dried shrimp in cold water to cover; drain. Pour 1.5 c oil into a wok; heat until the oil sizzles around the bowl of a wooden spoon. Add the garlic; cook about 1 minute, until golden brown. Remove with a Chinese wire skimmer or slotted spoon. Remove to a bowl lined with paper towels. Remove previous ingredient and allow oil to come back to heat before adding each new ingredient. Cook shallots 2-3 minutes or until they start to brown; shrimp for 1 minute; chilies 30 seconds or until they darken and become brittle. Transfer the fried ingredients to a blender or food processor. Add tamarind concentrate and remaining 1/4 cup oil; blend until mixture forms a moist, nearly smooth paste. Transfer paste to a small skillet; cook over medium heat 5-8 minutes or until it turns deep brown. Remove from heat and cool; store in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator for up to three months. Makes about 1 cup (enough for 8 batches of soup). Tamarind Sauce 1 ounce tamarind sauce (seedless, if possible) 1 cup warm water Steep tamarind in water, breaking apart with fingers occasionally, for 30 minutes. Press through a strainer; discard any solids. Okay...still with me? Now for the soup. Once the Chili-Tamarind Paste is made and the shrimp are peeled, it goes together real fast. I promise. Here goes! Hot-and-Sour Shrimp Soup (Tom Yum Kung) 6 cups chicken stock (I used canned) 1 large stalk lemongrass, tough outer leaves peeled off, trimmed to 12 inches and angle-cut in 2 inch pieces Peel of 1 lime, cut in thin slivers or chopped (or, if you're lucky enough to find them, 10 (5 pairs) fresh Kaffir lime leaves, torn in 1/2 2 tablespoons Chili-Tamarind Paste 4 tablespoons Thai fish sauce 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes' worth) 1/4 cup coconut-palm or golden brown sugar 3/4 pound medium shrimp, cleaned and peeled 1/2 pound sliced mushrooms 5 small Thai chilies (optional), stemmed and lightly crushed Put the stock, lime peel or leaves, and lemongrass in a soup pot and slowly bring to a boil. Keep at a low boil for 1 minute. Stir in the chili-tamarind paste. Add the fish sauce and lime juice; stir in sugar until dissolved. Add mushrroms; cook for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add shrimp; cook 1 more minute, or until pink. Turn off heat and float chilies on top of soup. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired. Serve hot. Do not eat lemongrass or lime leaves; eat the chilies if you're brave! For a less expensive version, replace the shrimp with chicken. This is Tom Yum Kai. Enjoy!

Thai Lemongrass Soup with Shrimp


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keyword: lemongrass
keyword: shrimp
ethnicity: thai
recipes for soups
recipes by kristens
Email Address:
(posted January 7, 2005)

Okay, here it is. This tastes quite a bit different from Chinese
hot-and-sour (which I've never liked much); most notably, it is thin. The
flavor is deliciously complex.
The recipe is in two parts. The first part is for the
chili-
tamarind paste that flavors the soup. Apparently this paste is also
available premade at ethnic groceries, but I haven't tried it.

Chili-
Tamarind Paste:

1/2 cup dried
shrimp (large ones, if available, but small worked fine)
1 3/4 cup vegetable or
peanut oil
1/3 cup sliced
garlic
1 cup sliced shallots
12 small dried Japanese chilies (red, about 2"
long, sold in bags)
3 tablepoons
Tamarind Sauce (recipe follows) or storebought tamarind
concentrate
3 tablespoons
coconut-palm or golden-
brown sugar
1 tablespoon Thai
fish sauce (Squid brand is the best I've found, or
Tiparos)

Rinse dried
shrimp in cold water to cover; drain.
Pour 1.5 c oil into a
wok; heat until the oil sizzles around the
bowl of a wooden spoon.
Add the
garlic; cook about 1 minute, until golden brown. Remove
with a Chinese wire
skimmer or slotted spoon. Remove to a bowl lined with
paper towels.
Remove previous ingredient and allow oil to come back to heat
before adding each new ingredient. Cook shallots 2-3 minutes or until
they start to
brown; shrimp for 1 minute; chilies 30 seconds or until they
darken and become brittle.
Transfer the fried ingredients to a
blender or food processor. Add
tamarind concentrate and remaining 1/4 cup oil; blend until mixture forms
a moist, nearly
smooth paste.
Transfer paste to a small
skillet; cook over medium heat 5-8
minutes or until it turns
deep brown. Remove from heat and cool; store in
a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator for up to three
months. Makes about 1 cup (enough for 8 batches of
soup).

Tamarind Sauce

1 ounce
tamarind sauce (seedless, if possible)
1 cup warm water

Steep tamarind in water, breaking apart with fingers occasionally,
for 30 minutes.
Press through a strainer; discard any solids.

Okay...still with me? Now for the
soup. Once the Chili-Tamarind Paste is made and the shrimp are peeled, it goes together real fast. I promise. Here goes!

Hot-and-
Sour Shrimp Soup (Tom Yum Kung)

6 cups
chicken stock (I used canned)
1 large stalk lemongrass,
tough outer leaves peeled off, trimmed to 12 inches and angle-cut in 2 inch pieces
Peel of 1 lime, cut in
thin slivers or chopped (or, if you're lucky enough to find them, 10 (5 pairs) fresh Kaffir lime leaves, torn in 1/2
2 tablespoons Chili-
Tamarind Paste
4 tablespoons Thai
fish sauce
1/2 cup fresh
lime juice (about 3 limes' worth)
1/4 cup
coconut-palm or golden
brown sugar
3/4 pound medium
shrimp, cleaned and peeled
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
5 small Thai chilies (optional), stemmed and lightly crushed

Put the
stock, lime peel or leaves, and lemongrass in a soup
pot and slowly bring to a boil. Keep at a low boil for 1 minute. Stir in the chili-tamarind paste. Add the fish sauce and lime juice; stir in sugar until dissolved. Add mushrroms; cook for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add shrimp; cook 1 more minute, or until pink. Turn off heat and float chilies on top of soup. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired. Serve hot. Do not eat lemongrass or lime leaves; eat the chilies if you're brave!

For a less expensive version, replace the
shrimp with chicken.
This is Tom Yum Kai.
Enjoy!


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