Once you track down the somewhat exotic ingredients for this soup—they keep in the freezer for months—it can be made in minutes. Best of all, it doesn’t require broth, although shrimp broth would give it a wonderful flavor.
– 2 green or red Thai chiles, or 4 jalapeño chiles.
– 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped.
– 2 shallots, minced.
– 2 slices frozen or dried galangal root or fresh ginger, ¼ inch thick.
– 4 kaffir lime leaves, cut into fine shreds.
– 1 stalk lemongrass, white bulb part only, tough outer layer discarded, very thinly sliced.
– 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and then deveined if desired.
– 1 small bunch cilantro, large stems removed.
– ¼ cup fish sauce, plus more to taste.
– Juice of 3 limes.
Step 1:In a pot, combine about 6 cups water, the chiles, garlic, shallots, galangal, lime leaves, and lemongrass, bring to a simmer, and simmer gently for 12 minutes.
Step 2:Add the shrimp and simmer for 1 minute. Add the cilantro, fish sauce, and lime juice and simmer for 1 minute, or until the shrimp are cooked. Season with pepper. Taste for salt and add more fish sauce—it is very salty and will contribute flavor—until the salt level is right.