Heat oil in a pot until you can see movement in the pan, do not let the oil smoke. Then add the crushed ginger and the crushed lemongrass, cook for 1 min before adding the garlic.
Once the garlic has been added cook until the garlic starts to turn golden brown, then add the kaffir lime leaves and the red curry paste.
Cook this mixture until the pot is dry, but not burned. Then deglaze with the fish sauce, bring back to a simmer, and reduce again.
When the pot is almost dry, deglaze again with the sake, and once again reduce to cook out all the alcohol. This time only reduce until a paste has formed, and no fond has formed on the bottom of the pot.
Add the coconut milk and vegetable stock to the pot and return to a simmer. Cook for 10 min at a simmer to allow flavors to combine.
Gently cook the diced carrot, onion, and fennel in the broth to infuse them with flavor as well as to achieve an optimal texture.
Then right before eating, add the shiitake mushrooms, tomatoes and shrimp to the broth.
Serve with the torn basil, mint, and chili oil on the side and encourage your companions to add as much or as little of the herbs and oil as they like.
This recipe and photo is courtesy of Chef Austin Simmons at TRIS.