Lemongrass Shrimp Soup

From: Simply Thai Cooking by Wandee Young & Byron Ayanoglu, 1995

4 cups water
1 stick lemon grass
4 lime leaves (or 2 Tbsp. lime juice)
1 inch ginger root
2 fresh hot chilies
3 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1 ½ tsp. chili paste
2 oz. button mushrooms, quartered
16 large shrimps, shelled and deveined
3 Tbsp. lime juice
Fresh coriander

Heat 4 cups water in a soup pot to boiling. Smash the lemon grass with the flat of a chef’s knife once, and then cut into1 inch pieces; tear the lime leaves into thirds; and slice the ginger into thin rounds. Reserve all three of these ingredients together. Crush the fresh chilies and cut in half. Reserve separately. When the water has boiled, add the reserved lemon grass/ginger/lime leaves. Boil for 1 minute. Add fish sauce, sugar and chili paste. Boil for another 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and boil for 2 minutes. Add shrimps and lime juice and lower heat to medium-high. Cook for 2 minutes, just until the shrimps have turned white and springy. Transfer to a soup tureen and decorate with fresh coriander leaves and serve immediately.

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