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  • Or how about shrimp paste from Tail, lemongrass from Talon, bamboo shoots from Spine, chilis from Fang, and palm sugar from Heart.

  • We'll poison them?

  • No, we're not going to poison them, and we're not going to fight them.

  • We're going to share a meal with them.

  • We what?

  • Hey, what's up guys?

  • Welcome back to Binging with Babish, where this week, we're taking a look at the Kumandra soup from "Raya the Last Dragon," a soup whose fermented shrimp paste, finely julienned lemongrass, bamboo shoots, Birdseye chilis, and palm sugar makes me think that it was inspired by Tom Yum Goong, a hot and spicy Thai soup.

  • The word "Goong" specifically referring to shrimp.

  • These were not present in the film, so they are totally optional, but we're gonna go ahead and peel and de-vein about a pound's worth of medium shrimp, reserving the shells and discarding the, ah, poop, because the shells can be a source of a little bit extra shrimpy flavor.

  • Set those shrimp aside and bring the shells on over to about three liters of boiling water, where we're gonna blanch our shells for about 15 minutes to extract every last drop of shrimpy flavor.

  • Once that's done, go ahead and fish 'em on out.

  • And truth be told, this might not make a difference at all.

  • We got some really powerful flavors going into this soup, but worst-case scenario, you didn't waste your shells.

  • Speaking of which, first up is a handful of dried makrut lime leaves, almost the Southeast Asian equivalent of bay leaves, and five or six dried slices of galangal, a sharper, spicier cousin to ginger.

  • Then we're going to add two stalks of lemongrass, first cutting off their dried out ends and using the butt of a knife and any pent-up anger,

  • Repeatedly smash the stalks, bruising them, which is gonna help get us the maximum flavor bang for our lemongrass buck.

  • Cut into three to four inch lengths, toss those in the hot tub, and let simmer for eight minutes.

  • Then we're optionally adding a handful of separated oyster mushrooms, as well as our reserved shrimp.

  • I say optional, because again, they're not visible in the movie, but either way, you're gonna end up with a mighty fine soup.

  • Let that simmer for three to five minutes, or until the shrimp are cooked through, kill the heat, and then it's time to add all the hot things and the sour things.

  • Starting first with the juice of three limes, which, as you add them, as going to transform your soup into a ghostly opaque shrimpy and sour elixir.

  • Next step, we get to add all the fun stuff.

  • Two tablespoons of fish sauce, one and a half tablespoons of nam prik pow, a Thai chili and tamarind sauce, and then onto the Kumandra stuff.

  • Two teaspoons of Palm sugar from Heart, that I'm going to give a regular size whisking to make sure that it's totally dissolved.

  • One and a half tablespoons fermented shrimp paste from Tail, maybe a quarter cup of finely julienned lemongrass from Talon, bamboo shoots from Spine.

  • And I know that these aren't cut correctly, his were round, mine are long, but, uh, that's all I could find.

  • And chilis from Fang, for which I have about four finely-chopped Bird's eye chilis.

  • And once again, optional, but Tom Yum Goong is traditionally garnished with a whole bunch of cilantro.

  • One of those times I definitely should have stayed true to the movie, but I didn't want to stand up with an inauthentic soup.

  • Season with a big old pinch of kosher salt, if necessary.

  • Might not need it, because some of these ingredients are very salty.

  • And that it's time to ladle up and serve.

  • And there you have it, Kumandra soup.

  • Definitely sticking a little bit closer to a Tom Yum Goong recipe than a Kumandra recipe, but this movie had some absolutely beautiful food, clearly inspired by Southeast Asian cuisine, and I didn't want to half-ass it.

  • That being said, how does it taste?

  • Well, it's really, really good.

  • Watch my lips, I'm about to say, "It's great."

  • Is that weird to see?

  • It was weird for me to do.

  • It really lives up to its name.

  • It's spicy and sour.

  • I honestly couldn't stop eating it, despite the cilantro.

  • Just make sure you don't eat all the leaves and lemongrass sticks sticking out of it.

  • But if you'll excuse me, I've got a sick girlfriend upstairs, and I think that this stuff will instantly cure her.

Or how about shrimp paste from Tail, lemongrass from Talon, bamboo shoots from Spine, chilis from Fang, and palm sugar from Heart.

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