Tom Yum Soup

Makes about 4 servings

  • 1 pound large shrimp with peel
  • 1 ½ tablespoons rice bran oil
  • 3 to 4 dried de arbol chilies
  • 3 cloves garlic with peel
  • cheesecloth and twine
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetarian broth
  • 12 cilantro stalks with stem
  • 3 shallots, peeled
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, outer hard stems and green leaves removed, sliced into 2 inch lengths
  • 6 to 7 slices fresh galangal
  • 6 to 7 fresh kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 to 4 fresh Thai chilies ( more if you like it spicy)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon agave syrup
  • 2 cups oyster mushrooms, separate into small bite-size strands
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • juice of 2 limes
  1. Peel the shrimp, devein and save about a ½ cup of peel. Wash and dry thoroughly. Refrigerate the shrimp until ready to use.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan for 1 minute. Add the shrimp peels, dried chilies and garlic to the heated oil and stir until the peels turn pink and dried chilies turn black. Turn off the heat, remove the content into the cheesecloth and tie it with the twine.
  3. Put the cheesecloth bouquet back into the saucepan and add the broth. Turn on the heat to high.
  4. Slice the stems from the leaves of the cilantro. Chop the leaves and put them in a bowl. Set aside.
  5. When the water comes to a boil, add the cilantro stems together with the shallots, lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves. Cover and lower the heat to medium low. Let the broth infuse with the fresh herbs for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Uncover, add the chilies, salt, agave syrup and mushrooms. When the mushrooms soften, add the fish sauce.
  7. When ready to serve, increase the heat to high and add the shrimp.
  8. While the shrimp are cooking, put equal portions of cilantro leaves and about 1 tablespoon lime juice into individual serving bowls. Once the shrimp are cooked, turn off the heat and ladle shrimp, oyster mushrooms and broth into the bowls. Stir lightly and serve immediately.