Galangal, a rhizome similar to ginger, is available fresh or frozen in Asian markets; ginger is an acceptable substitute. Chile paste, made from ground red chiles, garlic, and vinegar, is sold in Asian markets and some supermarkets.
In a saucepan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the garlic, chile paste, and red pepper flakes. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the galangal and lemongrass; stir until the ingredients are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
Bring the soup to a boil. Add the fish sauce, sugar, kaffir lime leaves, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Add the shrimp and cook until they just turn pink, about 2 minutes. (The shrimp will continue to cook in the hot broth.) Remove the pan from the heat and add the lime juice, scallion, basil, and cilantro. Serve immediately.
Fruity-floral Rieslings and Gewürztraminers are ideal. Try Kabinett-level Rieslings from Gunderloch and Zilliken. Or try these varietals: from California, Edmeades’ Mendocino Gewürztraminer or Bonny Doon’s Pacific Rim Riesling; or from the Pacific Northwest, Amity Gewürztraminer of Oregon or Hogue Riesling from Washington.
nutrition information (per serving):
per 2-cup serving;
Photo: Alan Richardson