THAI HOT-AND-SOUR SOUP WITH CLAMS AND MAT­SU­TAKE

Canada’s 100 Best - - Column -

Serves 4

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

• 1 L (4 cups) chicken stock

• Salt, gran­u­lated su­gar

• 300 g (10 oz) mat­su­take mush­rooms,

brushed and trimmed

• 3 stalks le­mon­grass

• 4 shal­lots, peeled

• 2 cm (1 inch) piece galan­gal

• 3 cilantro roots

• 5 KAF­fiR LIME LEAVES

• 3 (or more, to taste) bird’s eye chilies • 450 g (1 lb) lit­tle­neck clams,

SCRUBBED AND flUSHED

• 1 HAND­FUL HOLY BASIL LEAVES

• 1 pinch chopped pak chi farang (saw­tooth co­rian­der)

125 ml (½ cup) lime juice

125 ML (½ CUP) fiSH SAUCE • •

METHOD

In A HEAvy-Bot­tomED sAuCEpAn BrInG stoCk to A sIm­mEr on mEDIum HEAt, tHEn lowEr to mEDIum-low. SEA­son wItH A GEn­Er­ous pInCH oF sAlt AnD su­GAr. THInly slICE tHE mAt­su­tAkE, AnD sEt AsIDE A GEn­Er­ous HAnD­Ful oF tHE most pEr­FECt slICEs. ADD tHE spot­tED, mArkED AnD otH­Er­wIsE Im­pEr­FECt slICEs to tHE stoCk, AnD sIm­mEr un­tIl It Is In­FusED wItH tHEIr flAvour—ABout 20 mIn­utEs. StrAIn, AnD DIs­CArD musH­rooms.

TrAns­FEr lE­mon­GrAss, sHAl­lots, GAlAn­GAl, CIlAntro root, lImE lEAvEs AnD CHIlIEs to A lArGE mor­tAr, AnD BAsH wItH A pEs­tlE un­tIl wEll BruIsED (or Do tHIs on your CHop­pInG BloCk wItH A mAl­lEt or ClEAvEr). ADD tHE BrAIsED Aro­mAt­ICs wHolE to tHE strAInED BrotH, stIr, AnD sIm­mEr un­tIl FrA­GrAnt—ABout 10 mIn­utEs. ADD tHE ClAms AnD Cook un­tIl tHEy pop opEn —ABout 5 mIn­utEs morE. ADD tHE Holy BAsIl lEAvEs AnD pak chi farang. SEA­son wItH lImE JuICE AnD fisH sAuCE to tAstE: you wAnt tHE soup to first tAstE spICy, tHEn sour AnD sAlty—But not swEEt. ADD tHE rE­sErvED mAt­su­tAkE slICEs, DI­vIDE BrotH, ClAms AnD mAt­su­tAkE BE­twEEn Four wArm Bowls, AnD sErvE.

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