Austin American-Statesman - - RECIPE -

This is an in­vig­o­rat­ing, spicy Thai soup made with shrimp and oys­ter mush­rooms, and fla­vored with chili, lemon­grass, galan­gal and lime leaves. It will clear your head (and your si­nuses). Galan­gal is com­monly avail­able in Asian mar­kets and many large gro­cery stores. The cook­ing process is very quick, so have ev­ery­thing ready to go be­fore you start. Try this with chicken or chunks of firm-fleshed fish, or make it veg­e­tar­ian by poach­ing Asian greens, broc­coli, beans and pep­per in the broth. For the clas­sic red color, swirl in a spoon­ful of Thai roasted chili paste, nam phrik phao, at the end of cook­ing.

7 ounces sus­tain­ably

sourced raw shrimp 4 1/4 cups boil­ing wa­ter 1 stick of lemon­grass,

lightly bruised 1 1/4-inch piece of galan­gal, coarsely sliced 6 lime leaves, torn into

pieces 1 hot red chili and 1 mild green chili, sliced into rings (seed the red chili and use just half if you don’t like heat) 6 cloves of gar­lic, peeled 1 tea­spoon palm or

brown sugar 1 3/4 ounce oys­ter mush­rooms, torn into bite-size pieces 1 ta­ble­spoon fish sauce,

or more to taste Juice of 1 lime, or more

to taste

To serve: Cilantro

Peel and de­vein the shrimp and set aside. Pour the boil­ing wa­ter into a saucepan set over medium heat. Add the bruised lemon­grass, galan­gal, lime leaves, chili and gar­lic, and sim­mer to­gether for about 8 min­utes. Bring up to a steady boil, then add the sugar, mush­rooms and shrimp. Cover with a lid and cook for 3 min­utes, or un­til the shrimp are pink and cooked through.

Re­move from the heat and add the fish sauce and lime juice, then taste and de­cide if you would like to add more of ei­ther.

La­dle the soup into large bowls, leav­ing be­hind the lemon­grass stalk and as much of the lime leaves, gar­lic and galan­gal as you can, as none of these are good to eat. Gar­nish with the cilantro and eat straight­away. Serves 4 as an ap­pe­tizer or 2 as a main course. — From “Leon Happy Soups” by Re­becca Seal and John Vin­cent (Con­ran Oc­to­pus, $19.99)

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