This is a very satisfying soup you have have for dinner. Use the bones from your favorite local fish and save the filets for another meal. Porgies, striped bass, bluefish, blackfish or fluke are all great for this.
2 quarts of vegetable stock or seafood or fish stock
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, sliced on a bias in 2-inch pieces
4 kaffir lime leaves
2 red chiles, sliced
2 tablespoons fish sauce, such as nam pla
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup of sliced shitake mushrooms or (8-ounce) can straw mushrooms, rinsed and halved
1 green and/or red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 can coconut milk (add more or less to taste)
1 pound baby shrimp, peeled or fish
2 limes, juiced
2 green onions, sliced
1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
Bring the stock to the boil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and chiles. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover and add coconut milk and simmer for 15 minutes to let the spices infuse the broth.
Uncover and add the fish sauce, sugar, and mushrooms. Simmer for 5 minutes. Toss in the fish or shrimp at the end and cook for about 5 minutes until they cook. Remove from the heat and add the lime juice, green onions, and cilantro. The taste should be a balance between sweet and sour with the freshness of the ciltantro and spring onions coming through.Share on Facebook