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Shrimp and Lemongrass Soup
from the kitchen of Sharmagne Leland-St. John
2 cloves garlic
1 red hot chili pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped cilantro stems
3/4 teaspoon black pepper corns, coarsely ground
50 grams Enoki mushrooms (1/2 a 100 gram package)
2 large lemon grass stalks
1 knob of ginger thinly sliced
2 tablespoons anchovy oil ( see below)
2 shallots thinly sliced
4 cups low fat, low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest (approximately 1 whole lime)
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 of a 2.5 oz tin of anchovies blended (do not blend with the oil,
1/2 tablespoon palm sugar or dried persimmons chopped
1/2 pound (250 grams) shrimp peeled and deveined
1/8 cup each fresh shredded cilantro and Thai basil
Put the peppercorns in a mortar and break into pieces add the chopped
garlic, chili, and cilantro stems. Grind together with pestle to form a
Trim, smash and thinly slice the lemon grass on an angle. Peel the
ginger and slice it then crush with the flat blade of the knife.
Separate the mushrooms into single stems.
In a sauce pot or wok over high heat, heat the anchovy oil add the
mushrooms and stir for approximately 2 minutes. Stir in the slices
of lemongrass, ginger, and shallots and stir for another 2 minutes or
Add the broth, then the lime zest and bring to a boil. Reduce the
heat to medium, stir in the chili paste mixture. You may need to
put some broth into the mortar to get it all out. Simmer for 3-4
minutes. Add the anchovies*, lime juice and palm sugar or dried
persimmon pieces. Stir to mix well. In order to allow the flavors
to develop simmer the soup for at least 5 minutes.
Add the shrimp. When they begin to turn pink and are opaque,
remove from heat. Ladle the soup into 4 bowls and garnish with the
shredded basil and cilantro. Serve immediately. This soup
tastes best served with deep bowl Chinese spoons.
* You may want to use a prepared fish sauce. If so, use canola or
peanut oil in place of the anchovy oil.
You should remove the outer dry layers of the lemon grass and cut off
the grassy top, then crush before slicing.