Thai Style Rice Soup With Shrimp (For One). A Light And Easy Asian Breakfast Dish

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ironmal/2820465408/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ironmal/2820465408/

Notice the Cilantro Root

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/clayirving/2704691062/sizes/m/

Rice soup tastes a lot better than it sounds. And while it is mildly flavored, there are times in life when its subtlety is appreciated (breakfast, for example), when the mouth does not want fireworks.

There are three kinds of rice soup (in Thailand anyway).

  1. Rice soup of a porridge or blended consistency
  2. Rice soup that is little more than rice and water, and is that serves as the "rice" for other dishes
  3. Rice soup that is flavored in its own right, and which often contains boiled meatballs or seafood, and is eaten on its own.

As follows is a recipe for the third type of rice soup. 

A Bowl of Rice Soup with Shrimp (for one)

  • 6-8 medium shrimp
  • 1 1/4 cup of cooked rice (jasmine is fine)
  • 2 1/4 cups of chicken broth (vegetable broth or even water can be substituted here if needed)
  • 1 Tbls of soya sauce
  • 1 Tbls of fish sauce
  • 5 black peppercorns (whole)
  • 1 cilantro root (if you can get this, it adds a mildly herby and garlicky aroma. What you want is the brown root end below a bunch of cilantro stalks (see picture)
  • 1 Tbls of chopped green onion
  • 1 Tbls cilantro leaf, chopped
  • ¼ tsp white ground pepper (or more to taste – peppery taste removes any fishyness' from the soup)
  • 1 clove of garlic

Easy Steps

  1. Smash the peppercorns, cilantro root and garlic in a mortar and pestle (if you don't have a mortar and pestle, just crush it as best you can with the side of your knife…and don't worry too much about it.
  2. Bring the broth to a boil and add the shrimp and boil for 1 minute or so and then add the cooked rice, the soya sauce and the fish sauce, and bring it back to a boil.
  3. Remove from the heat and add in the white pepper and garnish with green onion and cilantro. 
  4. Season to taste as always and if the soup seems bland or lacking in mouth-feel, (savoriness) add a little more fish sauce.

If you use water instead of broth, you will almost certainly need to up the fish sauce (to taste).

That's it, very easy, and if you have some leftover cooked rice and broth on hand, this can be made in 5 minutes.

This would most often be eaten for a light breakfast or lunch, and is a perfect "light" tasting alternative to heavier breakfasting options.

This can be made with fish, chicken or pork as a substitute for the shrimp, if desired.

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