Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup

Total Time:
1 hr 20 min
Prep:
35 min
Cook:
45 min

Yield:
6 soup servings or 4 main-cour
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 1 pound medium shrimp
  • 2 fresh lemongrass stalks
  • 4 fresh or dried kaffir lime leaves, or 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce, or salt, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chile paste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can straw mushrooms, or 12 medium fresh mushrooms
  • 3 fresh hot green chiles, for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Directions
  • Wash the raw shrimp, then peel and devein, saving the peelings. Wash the shrimp again, drain and pat dry. Cover and refrigerate.

  • Cut each lemongrass stick into 3 (2-inch) pieces, starting from the rounded bottom end; discard the straw-like top. Lightly crush the 6 pieces with a heavy pestle, a mallet, or the blade of a knife.

  • Combine the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, the stock, and shrimp peelings in a pan. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer very gently for 20 minutes. Strain this stock and return to the rinsed-out pan.

  • Add the fish sauce, lime juice, and chile paste. Stir and taste again, adding more fish sauce or lime juice if required.

  • Drain the straw mushrooms and add them to the seasoned stock. If using fresh mushrooms cut into quarters, drop into lightly salted boiling water, and boil for 1 minute. Drain and add to the seasoned stock. (The soup may be prepared to this stage several hours ahead if necessary and refrigerated.)

  • Prepare the garnishes shortly before you are ready to serve the soup. Cut the green chilies into very fine rounds, and wash and dry the cilantro leaves.

  • Just before serving, heat the stock with the mushrooms in it. When it begins to bubble, drop in the peeled shrimp. Cook over a medium heat for about 2 minutes or just until the shrimp turn opaque. Serve the soup immediately in individual bowls, garnished with the green chiles and cilantro leaves.


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