Bich Nga’s Hot & Sour Shrimp with Sweet Pineapple Soup 

1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and de-veined, butterfly cut
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1-3 teaspoons hot pepper flakes
2 tablespoons ground cumin
teaspoon black pepper
8-10 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
cup fish sauce (no substitutes)
1-2 teaspoons concentrated tamarind juice (or white vinegar)
1 golden pineapple, cut in thin strips (approximately 5 cups)
2 cups cut up tomatoes, or one 15 oz. can whole tomatoes
1 bell pepper, cut into strips

In a medium bowl, mix shrimp together with salt, sugar, hot pepper flakes, ground cumin and black pepper.

In a medium soup pan, add approximately 2 tablespoons of oil, saut shrimp for about 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan, and saut the pineapple until it wilts (approximately 2 minutes). Pour in broth. You may use a mixture of broth and clam juice here, if desired. If you are using water, add a bouillon cube. Taste it carefully before seasoning further with fish sauce. Add tomatoes and peppers and bring to a boil. Depending on the tartness of the tomatoes, use your own judgement before adding tamarind juice or vinegar. When everything has come to a full boil, return shrimp to the pan. Stir and remove from heat.

If you are fortunate enough to have French mint, use it here (3 tablespoons is sufficient). Add scallion and freshly and sliced hot pepper.

** Bich Nga’s Cookbook can be purchsed online at **