For the spice paste:
5 red chilies (halved and seeded)
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 tbs fresh ginger (grated)
2 or 3 plump stalks lemon grass -
1 tsp. Coriander seeds
.5 cup cilantro
1 tsp round turmeric
1 tbs vegetable oil
For the soup:
1 quart vegetable broth
1.5 cups coconut milk
1 lime - just the juice
splash of soy sauce
splash of mirin (a Japanese wine)
1 lb soba noodles
1 lb raw shrimp (peeled and de-veined)
cilantro, fresh mint, green onions, and lime wedges
Finely slice the tender, innermost leaves of the lemon grass. Grind the coriander seeds or crush them in a mortar. Combine all ingredients into a thick paste in a food processor. You may need a few tablespoons of vegetable oil to help it go round but add as little as you can.
Heat a large pot over medium heat, add half the spice paste stir for one minute, add vegetable broth, coconut milk, and a splash of soy sauce and Mirin. Let it come to a boil. Turn the heat down and let the soup simmer for ten minutes. Meanwhile cook the noodles briefly in boiling water and drain them.
Divide the noodles between four large bowls and ladle soup on top. Garnish with cilantro, mint, green onions and lime wedges.