Fragrant with lime juice and lemongrass, this hot and sour soup is based on a recipe from our friend Nancie McDermott, author of Real Thai (Chronicle Books, 1992).
- 3 large stalks fresh lemongrass
- 4 chicken stock
- 12 fresh or frozen Kaffir lime leaves
- 1 cup canned straw mushrooms, drained
- 2-4 tbsp. roasted Thai chile paste (nam prik pao)
- 8 oz. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 1⁄2 tbsp. fish sauce
- 4-6 Thai chiles, stemmed and smashed with side of a knife
- 3 scallions, cut into 1″ lengths
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 cups cooked rice (optional)
- Trim tip and root ends of lemongrass stalks and remove and discard tough outer layer. Using a meat mallet or the side of a knife, smash lemongrass to flatten it; tie stalks into a knot; set aside. Pour stock into a 2-qt. saucepan and bring to a boil. Add lemongrass and half the lime leaves, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Remove and discard lemongrass and lime leaves and increase heat to high. Stir in mushrooms and chile paste, to taste, and boil for 1 minute; add shrimp and fish sauce and cook until shrimp are just cooked through, about 45 seconds. Combine remaining lime leaves with chiles, scallions, and lime juice in a serving bowl or tureen. Pour soup into serving bowl, stir, and serve with rice, if you like.