Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Thai Shrimp Soup with Lime and Cilantro

Another night, another soup! This one is a variation of a recipe I got from The South Beach Diet Quick and Easy Cookbook. I first ate this earlier this year, when I did SBD in an effort to lose weight for the wedding. It was dinner on my first night of the diet, and I remember that it tasted so good that I thought the whole dieting thing wouldn't be too bad. The original recipe calls for 3 cups of thinly sliced napa cabbage in place of the bean thread noodles I used here.

1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 inch length of fresh ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
6 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
5.25 ounces bean thread noodles
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon sugar or sugar substitute
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

To start, reconsititute the noodles. Place them in a large bowl and cover with hot water straight from the tap. Let them sit for 15 minutes, then drain the noodles and set aside.

Warm up the oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the onion and saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Throw in the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes and cook for about a minute. Add the chicken broth and water and bring up to a boil.

Stir in the bean thread noodles. Add the shrimp, fish sauce, lime juice, lime zest, and sugar and cook just until the shrimp turn pink, about one minute. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Turn off the heat and scatter the cilantro into the soup. Serve hot.

Rating: This is awesome
The flavors are sharp and intense, but they all come together well. The noodles are tricky to catch, since they're so long. Try eating with a soup spoon in one hand and a pair of chopsticks in the other--grab some noodles with the chopsticks, transfer them to the spoon, scoop up some of the broth in the spoon, and slurp the whole spoonful down.

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