January 26, 2011

never as good as mom's...

My mom is an amazing cook. I never realized it growing up because I was busy being jealous of all the kids that were eating Hamburger Helper and Kraft Mac & Cheese. Now that I'm older, I know better...and I've still never had Hamburger Helper, but I no longer want to! I'm sure I've said this before, but it's so difficult getting a recipe from my mom. She doesn't always know the English names of herbs or veggies and there are rarely exact measurements of things - it's always a little bit of this and little of that. Which results in things not turning out to be nearly as good as when she makes them. And that's exactly what happened when I tried to make her shrimp soup/stew recipe. It's actually a pretty simple recipe with just a few ingredients and although it was still tasty, it didn't taste as good or look as good. Sigh...

lemon grass on the far left, chopped scallions on the top, chopped culantre on the bottom (can be found at an Asian supermarket)


That just doesn't look that good does it? Believe me, it tasted a million times better than it looks but I like my food to look pretty too! When my mom makes it, the broth is more orange-y and the herbs are a brighter green.


You eat it with rice (of course) and this AMAZING spicy chilli sauce that you pour over top. Of everything. Eric will even eat it over plain white rice. We had leftover sauce so I cooked some chicken legs and thighs the next night and ate it with rice. Yum. Also good over fish.

Shrimp Soup/Stew Recipe


Tamarind Soup Base Mix (can be found at any Asian supermarket)
1/2 a lemon grass stem
Culantre (5 or 6 pieces)
Shrimp (my mom always gets the shrimp with the heads attached - she eats the heads, I don't)
Fish Sauce
3 scallions


Bring a pot of water to boil with the lemon grass stem in the water. When it comes to a boil, add the shrimp. Add the herbs when the shrimp look done. Add a tbsp or two (or more to taste) of the tamarind soup base mix and about a tbsp of fish sauce (or more to taste). And you're done!

Spicy Chilli Sauce Recipe


Lime (2)
Fish sauce
Whole Thai chilli peppers


Squeeze limes into a bowl. Add about 2 garlic cloves, minced. Depending on how spicy you like it, add 1 or 2 chilli peppers, chopped up. Add about 2 or 3 pieces of the culantre chopped. Add maybe half a scallion, chopped. Add fish sauce - its really hard for me to say how much because I kept adding until it no longer tasted too sour - sorry for the vagueness. Mix all together and enjoy!


eric said...

when are we having hamburger helper night?

iheartpie said...

I am going to look for culantre the next time I'm in an asian supermarket - still looks yummy to me!!

Karena said...

This looks delicious!! For greener herbs, add them toward the end of cooking because they lose their color the longer you cook them, especially in soups. This also helps them keep their taste more pungent instead of dispersing it into the soup. However, the lemongrass should go in at the beginning since that's a flavor you want dispersed and simmered. Did you bruise the lemongrass before putting it in? Apparently that brings out more of its flavor. Happy cooking!