Sorry I have been so late with this post. I was caught up in a secret squirrel project last week.
The instructions in each recipe in Williams Sonoma's "Asian" are precise. One of the last pieces of advice for Thai Shrimp and Lemongrass Soup is, "Just before serving, stir in the shrimp. As soon as they begin to turn color and are opaque, after about 3 minutes, remove the soup from the heat." Oh thank you recipe writers, thank you. Jack and I enjoyed some tender tender shrimp that night. Mmmmmm.
And I must also highlight the lemongrass. I love to cut it at the base and inhale the hard-to believe-it-came-from-a-stalk-of-grass lemon scent. It's not a pure lemon flavor, but an earthy lemon flavor and that makes it perfect for soup. The new-to-me ingredient from this recipe is galangal root. It's like lemon flavored ginger. Both the lemongrass and the galangal root steep with the soup and are removed before serving. I kind of forgot about the four slices of galangal root. My memory was triggered when I heard the words, "Is this supposed to be in here?" from my husband/test subject. No, that's not a stubborn water chestnut, it's a hunk of rhizome. Ooops.
An ingredient that was meant to stay in the soup were shiitake mushrooms. Up until this point I have not been the biggest mushroom fan. The chewienes of the shiitakes was a turning point for me. It seems that I am big on texture, I like food that fights back a bit, even a little bit. (Bring on the crab, squid, raw carrots, hearts of romaine, and of course crunchy snow peas!) The broth is light with a chicken base and citrus accents. It becomes more savory when absorbed in an earthy mushroom.
hope I am back on track. I am deciding between Pot Stickers and Vietnamese Summer Rolls for my next endeavor...