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Tom Yum Soup




Some soup is boring—this is not that soup. It has complex and big flavors that are a perfect start to a meal, or can make a meal itself. The great thing about this dish is that it is fully customizable. Each time you make it, keep track of how much garlic, ginger, chilis, and lemongrass you added in the initial stage, so that you can adjust the next time. Some like it more garlicky and some hotter. Instead of shrimp, try scallops, chicken, or tofu as well. With each variation you will find that it has an entirely different character. Just don’t leave out the seared lemons—they really make the dish.





Ingredients

1 quart chicken broth

½ pound sliced shitake mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

Green onion

1 small onion (finely diced)

3 cloves garlic

Kafir lime leaves

Ginger (3 quarter size chunks)

Lemongrass

1 jalapeno or 3 Thai bird chilis

½ pound shrimp (start with the shell and tail on. Remove the shells and tails, and reserve)

1 lemon, thinly sliced


Gently heat the chicken broth over medium heat until it reaches a light simmer. Do not get the broth to a full or rolling boil. Remove the woody outside layer from the lemongrass and add a piece about the length of your middle finger. Add the shrimp shells and tails, 2 cloves of garlic, ginger, lemongrass, peppers (reserve a few slices of the chili for the final dish), the Kafir lime leaves, and one of the green onions cut into pieces, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Strain the broth into a metal or glass bowl. Discard the strained pieces, and return the broth to the pot. Bring it back to a simmer. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes.

On a separate skillet, sauté the diced onion and the remaining garlic clove (finely diced) in a drizzle of olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until just done, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the shrimp and add the thin slices of lemon to the skillet. Cook until browned.

Ladle the soup into a bowl. Add the cooked onions, garlic, a few shrimp, a couple chili slices (if desired), and finish with thinly sliced green onion.



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