Peel the shrimp, reserving 6 shells; set shrimp aside. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the japones chiles and shrimp shells; sauté for 3 minutes or until the chiles are blackened. Add broth, and bring to a boil. Add galangal and next 5 ingredients (galangal through shallots). Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes.
Strain soup through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Return soup to pan. Increase heat to medium-high. Add shrimp and fish sauce; cook 2 minutes or until shrimp are done. Remove from heat; stir in lime juice. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.
This is one superb soup. I would add a few more ingredients, maybe pea pods, napa cabbage or bok choy, sweet red pepper etc just to give it some interest,color and body. The way the recipe reads might be a good 1st course however. Definetly make it again..the flavors sing!
This is a delicious recipe. We really loved it. The only changes I made were to chop the cooked ginger after I strained the broth and put it back in the soup; add thinly sliced Chinese cabbage; and serve over cooked whole wheat udon noodles. This made a main dish that needed no accompaniments. Had baked pears for desert, which complemented the soup nicely.
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