Tender chunks of salmon and delicate mushrooms mellow this tangy, peppery soup.
2 (10- to 12-inch-long) fresh lemongrass stalks, rinsed
5 cups reduced-sodium or homemade chicken stock
2 quarter-size slices galangal or fresh ginger
1 jalapeño chile, halved lengthwise
3 fresh or dried kaffir lime leaves, optional
8 ounces skinless, boneless salmon fillet, cut into 1/2- x 1-inch pieces
2 ounces oyster mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons fish sauce
Pinch of sugar
Pinch of ground white pepper
1/3 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
How to Make It
Cut each stalk of lemongrass in half crosswise. Bruise or crush the stalks with a meat mallet or a small, heavy skillet.
Combine lemongrass, next 3 ingredients, and, if desired, kaffir lime leaves in a 2-quart saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and let steep for 15 minutes. Remove and discard solids.
Return seasoned stock to stove over medium heat. Add salmon, mushrooms, and tomato; simmer gently 3 to 4 minutes or until salmon is opaque.
Remove from heat, and stir in remaining ingredients. (If soup is too spicy, stir in another pinch of sugar.)