This delicious, easy-to-make broth can be used for any Southeast Asian soups or stews. It can even be used to add more flavor and nutrition to curries or stir fries.
I had a dream once that I cooked rice in this beautiful broth, then cooled that rice and used it to make a cold shrimp & rice salad with lots of fresh herbs and vegetables. Imagine the resistant starch, I thought. I felt like Einstein discovering the Theory of Relativity. Let me explain — I usually dream about working at old jobs or cleaning my house. Can you imagine? Dreaming every night about scrubbing your tub with a toothbrush? Needless to say, I have a messed-up subconscious, so this recipe idea was pretty awesome. Maybe I’ll try it and write up a recipe. Until then, make this broth in anticipation.
Wait, I just had another idea. While awake! Shrimp broth instead of clam juice in Bloody Marys? Is that crazy? Or a Southeast Asian seafood ceviche using a little of this broth as its base with tons of citrus? I’m brimming with Gedankenexperimenten!
By now, I hope you have your pressure cooker, because you will need it. I used my Kuhn Rikon 7 quart. If your pressure cooker is larger, use less water or add more of the ingredients listed below. You will also need to get a nice bundle of lemongrass. I suggest an Asian grocery store because it will be a heck of a lot cheaper than those small packages at Whole Paycheck.
And lots of shrimp heads.
Sorry, I think I just mentioned that like it was a normal thing for you to have laying around; AND IT SHOULD BE. Sorry again, I just really like shrimp heads. Shrimps heads = tons of flavor. So do me a favor and start buying shrimp head on. I know they are kinda ugly and weird. But you want to make a really good broth, right?
At the time of photographing the images for this recipe, ramps were in season. Since that’s not that case (or maybe it is now*), you can substitute with leek scraps or more scallions. Then get creative and use the broth anyway you want. Or save it, because you know I’ll post a soup recipe that calls for it soon. (Very soon.) Update: here it is.
Questions? Suggestions? Want to tell me about your dreams? Crackpot scientific theories? Please do so in the comments.
*Time travel may have been invented by the time you read this. Or it may just be next year.
Pressure Cooker Lemongrass Shrimp Broth
- 6 stalks lemongrass chopped (please see notes)
- 4 cups loosely packed Chinese celery or regular celery, chopped
- The shells and heads from at least 4 lbs (more is okay) of shrimp turned into a shrimp mush. (please see notes below)
- Large handful of fresh cilantro (even better if they have the roots attached)
- 3 whole scallions chopped (add more if no ramps/leeks)
- Root ends from handful ramps or leek trimmings (optional)
- Freezer vegetable scraps, if any room left in pot
- Prep lemongrass and shrimp shells & heads according to the notes. Add all ingredients to your pressure cooker and cover with water to the max fill line. Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally.
- Strain broth and use immediately or allow to cool and store in fridge or freezer for future use.
- To prep the lemongrass, cut into 2 inch chunks and bruise with a mallet or the back of a heavy knife. The woody brown stems can be discarded.
- To prep the shrimp shells & heads, place in blender and cover with a little water. Blend into a shrimpy mush.