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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Thai Hot & Sour Shrimp Soup

When I went to Thailand with Kimberly a few years ago, I discovered Tom Yum Goong (Hot and Sour Shimp Soup), and in a very bad way. It was our first day and we were out for lunch with Kimberly's friend's parents who don't speak English and therefore couldn't warn me about the hotness. The soup came and my first bite was a whole spoonful of what I thought were green beans. That's when I discovered the Thai chili. Everyone got a good laugh but I thought I was going to die. As traumatic as the experience was, I ate the soup at lunch and dinner almost every day for the entire two weeks we were there. I burned my mouth and the inner lining of my stomach everytime but I LOVED it. This recipe is a twist - for one, the chilis are optional. I also use coconut milk to ease the bite of the sour and because I love it. You can also make this with chicken.

1/2 lb shimp, peeled and deveined (tails on or off)
1 32oz box chicken broth
1 tbsp minced ginger
3/4 cup chopped cilantro
3 cloves minced garlic
2 stalks fresh lemongrass
1 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp chili garlic sauce (or use Thai chilis if you can find them - use sparingly!!!!)
1 cup quartered mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped basil
2 tbsp lime juice

1. In a large saucepan, sautee the shrimp with a little bit of vegetable oil until about 1/2 cooked. Remove them from the pan, place in a bowl, and set aside. Leave the juices in the pan.

2. In the same pan, add broth, ginger, 1/2 cup of the cilantro, garlic, and lemongrass and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Strain the mixture over a bowl and discard the solids.

4. Return broth to the saucepan and add coconut milk, fish sauce, chili garlic sauce/Thai chilis, and mushrooms. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

5. Add shrimp, basil, lime juice, and 1/4 cup of cilantro and cook for another 3-5 minutes.

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