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Southeast Asia—Thai Coconut-Shrimp Soup

 

Thai Soupcoconut shrimp soup

Coconut–Shrimp Soup
Tom Yum Nam Khon 
(Serves 6)

Shrimp in a delectible broth of coconut milk, with the classic southeast Asian balance of sweet, sour and salty.


1" piece galanga (sliced thin; see sidebar)
4 stalks lemon grass, (chopped, see sidebar) *
10 kaffir lime leaves (see sidebar)
13.5 oz. cans of coconut milk
2 C chicken stock
1/4 C lime juice
2-3 T fish sauce (to taste)
2-3 T brown sugar (to taste)
1 tsp. curry powder
1 lb. medium shrimp (peeled and deveined)
2 T cilantro (chopped, as garnish)


Seasonings: wrap the galanga, lemon grass and kaffir leaves into a piece of cheesecloth and tie the ends together, making small packet.

Broth: in a large pot, heat the coconut milk and broth. When it reaches a simmer, add the seasoning packet and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes. Stir in the lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, and curry powder. Stir and simmer another 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook 3 minutes more (careful not to overcook the shrimp).

Serve: divide into individual soup bowls, sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

* Prior to choping, crush or pound the lemon grass very gently just to release the flavors.

| See more SE Asian recipes |

Tips & Glossary

Southeast Asian cuisine seeks a balance of hot, sour, sweet, and salty—all in a single dish. Adjust to suit your taste perferences.

Many of the ingredients below are unfamiliar to Westerners, but you can find most in any local Asian market.

Fish Sauce: a liquid made of fermented anchovies and bottled (like soy sauce).

Galanga: a root related to ginger though with deeper tones of citrus and pine. Tough to slice...use a sharp knife. (If galanga is not to be found, use ginger root.)

Lemon Grass: tall, stalky, critus-flavored grass. Prior to cooking, pound or crush gently to release flavor.

Rice Sticks: aka rice noodles or vermicelli; thin dried noodles from rice flour. Soak before using, about 1 hour, or less, (depending on how soft or chewy you like your noodles.)

Shrimp Paste: fermented, ground shrimp. It carries a pungent aroma but is essential in cooking.

Taffir Lime: a lime bush native to the region. The leaves and pebbly rind (as zest) are used for flavoring, but not the juice. The leaves can be bought dried.

Tamarind: tropical tree grown in Africa and Asia; its fruit pulp is used as souring agent. It’s also found in Worcestershire sauce and some ketchup.

 

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