- 5 Thai chiles, seeded and chopped
- 4 stalks of fresh lemongrass, tender inner bulb only, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped peeled fresh ginger
- 1 large shallot, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (see Note) or vegetable oil
- 3 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
- 1/4 cup tamarind concentrate (see Note)
- 6 fresh kaffir lime leaves (see Note)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3/4 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
- Cooked rice vermicelli or steamed rice, for serving (optional)
- In a blender, combine the chiles, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, shallot and 1/4 cup of water and puree until smooth.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the coconut oil. Add the lemongrass puree and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the coconut milk, brown sugar, fish sauce, tamarind, lime leaves and 1 1/2 cups of water and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the soup is flavorful and slightly reduced, about 15 minutes.
- Stir the lime juice into the soup and season with salt and pepper. Add the shrimp and simmer until slightly curled and just cooked through, about 1 minute. Ladle the soup into bowls, add the rice noodles and serve.
Grassy Grüner Veltliner.