Lemongrass Soup with Shrimp or Chicken
This is yet another recipe that I learned in a Thai restaurant cooking class. It is especially easy to make
and tastes just like the good soups in my local Thai restaurants. The secret is the Chili Paste in Soy Bean Oil
(Nam Prik Pao in Thai) and there is no substitute.
Happily, you can get this in Asian food stores or
online. I use Maesri brand.
½ pound raw shrimp (may substitute chicken or
6 cups water
2 cups fresh mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1 tomato, sliced into 8 pieces lengthwise
2 stalks lemongrass
1 tablespoon Chili Paste in Soy Bean Oil (Nam Prik Pao in Thai)
4 tablespoons fish sauce
5 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
1 green onion, chopped fine
Peel and devein the shrimp, reserving the shells. Cook just the shells in the water in a soup pot until the
shells turn pink then discard the shells.
Cut the lemongrass into 3 inch sections and crush each piece just to expose the flavorful insides of the
stalks. I try to keep the crush stalks from fragmenting because I like to pick out the stalks when the cooking is
done. I find the stalks too fibrous to leave in the soup. Add the lemongrass sections to the water and bring to a
boil and simmer it for a few minutes.
Add the mushrooms and shrimp and cook just until the shrimp turns pink. If you are using chicken, cook it
until all the pink is gone. It is easy to overcook shrimp and chicken so take care at this point.
Remove from heat and add the tomato, Nam Prik Pao, fish sauce, lime/lemon juice and the green onion
and serve hot. Great on a winter day!