This is a variation on the classic soup Tom Kha Kai (Chicken-Coconut Soup with Ginger and Lemongrass), kicked up with shrimp instead of chicken.
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh lemongrass, tough outer leaves removed
- 2 tablespoons peeled and thinly sliced fresh ginger
- 5 small Thai chiles, stemmed and lightly crushed
- 4 Kaffir lime leaves, crushed
- 3 cups shrimp stock or fish stock
- 1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons Thai nam pla, or Vietnamese nuoc nam (fish sauce), or more to taste
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
- Steamed jasmine rice, accompaniment, recipe follows
In the center of a 6-inch square piece of cheesecloth, place the lemongrass, ginger, chilies and lime leaves. Draw up the sides to form a pouch and tie with kitchen twine.
In a large pot, combine the stock, mushrooms, fish sauce, and sachet in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the shrimp, coconut milk, and cilantro, and simmer until the shrimp are cooked, 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove from the heat and discard the sachet. Season, to taste, with salt or additional fish sauce. Serve with jasmine rice.
- Steamed Jasmine Rice: Khao Suoy
- 2 cups jasmine rice, other long-grain white rice can be substituted
- 3 cups water
In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the rice and water and bring to a boil. Cover tightly, reduce the heat to low, and cook undisturbed until the water is absorbed, 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit undisturbed for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.