A very simple soup that gives off a complex aroma and flavor. One taste of these prawns in the spicy and sour broth will send your taste buds to the tropics.
INGREDIENTS (for 4 servings):
- 1 pound tiger prawns with shell
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 3 stalks lemon grass
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
- 10 kaffir lime leaves, torn in half
- 1 cup straw mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 4 red chile peppers, seeded and chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped
Shell and devein the prawns, reserving the shells. Rinse the shells and place them in a large saucepan with the chicken stock. Bruise the lemon grass stalks, and add them to the broth along with half of the lime leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, and simmer gently until the lemon grass changes color, and the stock becomes fragrant, about 5 minutes. Strain the stock and return to the saucepan. Discard the solids.
Return the stock to a simmer, and add the mushrooms and prawns. Cook until the prawns are pink. Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice, 2 tablespoons green onion, cilantro, red chilies, and remaining lime leaves. Taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary. The soup should be sour, salty, spicy and hot. Garnish with remaining green onions.