Tom wan koong (sweet shrimp soup)

Yield: 4 Servings

Measure Ingredient
1 pounds Shrimp (or mixed seafood); cleaned and prepared
4 cups Coconut nectar
2 tablespoons Kha (galangal); julienned
2 tablespoons Takhrai (lemon grass); thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Bai phak chi (coriander/cilantro leaves)
1 tablespoon Prik ki nu daeng (red birdseye chilis); thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Nam prik pao (roasted chilis in oil)
4 tablespoons Fish sauce
4 tablespoons Lime juice

From: "Colonel I.F.K. Philpott" <colonel@...> Date: Mon, 15 Jul 1996 10:22:43 -0700 I recently saw a post requesting a recipe for a sweet shrimp dish where the shrimp were marinaded in the coconut milk. I must say up front that this is not the recipe referred to by that requestor. However it struck a memory cord and I found this recipe. I must admit that I have never seen this done in a restaurant outside Thailand, and indeed the only thing close is something the British chef Keith Floyd included in a series a couple of years back.

There are two staple soups in Thai cuisine: tom yam is a hot spicy clear soup with elements of sweet and sour flavors added. Tom kha is a milder soup with coconut milk and galangal (kha) dominating rather than the fiery prik (chili) of the tom yam. This is in reality a variation on the tom kha approach, but instead of the somewhat heavy coconut milk this recipe is produced using coconut nectar (the clear sweet liquid inside a fresh coconut). Here in Thailand it is a popular drink: streetside vendors trim a coconut with a machete then neatly slice off the top of the prepared nut and insert a straw and volia! instant refreshment. It is however available in tins, so shoudn't be too hard to find in Western stores.

This variety of the soup only really "works" with shrimp or a seafood mixture (clams, calamari, etc...).

Thais eat the galangal, which is cut into thin matchstick pieces. However I have noticed that many western diners prefer to discard the galangal and so it may be wiser to leave the galangal in thin slices.

Similarly the lemon grass is eaten, but you may prefer to cut it into 2" lengths, and crush them with a mallet. These may then be discarded by the diner.

Finally if you prefer the dish sweeter cut down on the chili elements.

METHOD:

add the galangal and lemon grass to the coconut nectar and simmer for 5 minutes, then allow to cool and add the shrimp or seafood, and allow to marinade for 1 hour in a cool place.

Strain, and then reheat the liquid to poaching temperature (just below boiling), and return the ingredients to the pan, adding the remaining ingredients, except the coriander leaves, and poach until the shrimp or seafood is just cooked through (do not overcook). Remove from the stove and transfer to a serving dish, and stir in the coriander leaves to complete the dish. (serves four).

CHILE-HEADS DIGEST V3 #044

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