Lemongrass Meets Ginger meets Galangal
Seafood Soup from a Landlocked Country
Although Laos is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia, Lao people eat a lot of Fish and Seafood, relying on fresh water varieties, especially from the Mekong River.
One of the most popular preparations in Laotian Cuisine is a Fish Soup made with any firm white meat Fish and incorporating several of the most popular Lao seasonings – Galangal, Lemongrass and Ginger.
Fish Soup (Keng Son Pa)
500 grams (about 1 pound) white meat fish
2 stalks Lemongrass
1 finger of Ginger
6 slices of Galangal
½ teaspoon Salt
¾ liter (about 27 – 28 ounces) Water
2 tablespoons Nam Pla Fish Sauce
2 small Tomatoes
2 slices Green Mango
1 slice peeled Pineapple
3 Green Onions
2 tablespoons chopped Cilantrao (Coriander) leaves
Few drops fresh Lime Juice
First cut the Fish filets, which should be skinned and free of bones, into cubes about 1 inch square
Cut the Tomato, Mango and Pineapple in small cubes or wedges, about 1inch or a bit smaller and set aside.
Chop the Green Onion and Coriander Leaves and set them aside.
Crush the Lemongrass stalks, and toast the Galangal slices in a dry, heavy iron skillet over medium heat with the half teaspoon of Salt for about 3 minutes, until they release their fragrance, being careful not to burn them.
When the Galangal are toasted, heat the Water in a medium saucepan and add the Lemongrass, Ginger, and Galangal and boil for about 10 minutes.
Then add the Fish and Fish Sauce
Bring back to the boil and add Tomatoes, Mango and Pineapple pieces and simmer gently, uncovered , for another 10 1o 15 minutes.
Finally, remove from the heat and discard the Ginger, Lemongrass and Galangal pieces, then add the chopped Green Onions and Coriander leaves and squeeze a few drops of Lime juice and serve immediately.