Shitake Mushroom & Coconut SOup
- 24 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 2 stalks lemongrass (or 2 strips lemon rind)
- 2 stalks fresh coriander
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
- 2 shallots, minced (or1/3 cup/75 mL minced onion)
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) minced gingerroot
- 2 hot red peppers, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) whole peppercorns
- 3 whole cloves
- 3 cups (750 mL) chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) fish sauce
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) cornstarch
- 1 can (400 mL) coconut milk
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) lime juice
Adapted from homemakers.com
Soak mushrooms in 3 cups (750 mL) warm water until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid; strain liquid through fine sieve. Cut off mushroom stems; set aside. Cut mushroom caps into thin strips.
Cut lemongrass into 2-inch (5 cm) lengths, discarding woody ends. Crush with side of knife to split; set aside.
Separate leaves and stems from coriander; set aside.
In saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; fry lemongrass, coriander stems, shallots, ginger, half of the hot peppers, garlic, peppercorns and cloves until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in stock, fish sauce, mushroom stems and reserved liquid; bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat; simmer for 20 minutes.
Strain and return to saucepan. Add mushroom strips and simmer for 5 minutes. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 1 day.) Mix cornstarch with 2 tbsp (30 mL) water until smooth. Stir coconut milk into soup; bring to simmer. Stir in cornstarch mixture; simmer for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in lime juice.
Garnish with coriander leaves and remaining hot peppers.
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