Pornpitlum Pattcha’s version of this dish was made with large saltwater prawns known in Thai as goong yai. Check your local Asian market for hard-to-find ingredients.
- 8 whole fresh or frozen kaffir lime leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed and halved lengthwise
- 1 (3") piece peeled fresh or frozen galangal cut crosswise into ¼"-thick coins
- 5 head-on, shell-on jumbo prawns, halved lengthwise
- 3⁄4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1⁄4 cup fish sauce
- 3-4 tbsp. semimoist thai palm sugar
- 5 red or green thai chiles, stemmed and halved lengthwise
- 2 cored and quartered plum tomatoes
- Salt to taste
- 1⁄2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
- Steamed jasmine rice
- Bring 1 quart water to a boil in a large pot. Add kaffir lime leaves, garlic, lemongrass halved lengthwise, and galangal. Reduce heat to medium and cook until fragrant, 3–4 minutes. Add prawns and boil gently until just cooked through, about 30 seconds. Add lime juice, fish sauce, palm sugar, thai chiles, tomatoes, and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tomatoes are softened, 4–5 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with cilantro. Serve immediately with steamed jasmine rice.