Coconut Laksa with Shrimp
Photo: Jonny Valiant
This hearty Southeast Asian noodle soup is sweet, spicy and vibrant, with a tropical creaminess from coconut milk.
Yield: 8 servings
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Total: 1 Hour, 30 Minutes
- 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, shelled and deveined, shells reserved
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 3 large shallots, quartered
- 4 jalapeños, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup macadamia nuts
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 plump lemongrass stalks, bottom 8 inches only, outer layer removed, stalk cut into 2-inch lengths
- 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 pound Thai flat rice noodles (pad thai), soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
- Lime wedges, for serving
- In a large saucepan, combine the shrimp shells with the onion, carrot and 8 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the stock is bright orange and reduced to 5 cups, about 30 minutes. Strain and reserve the stock.
- In a food processor, combine the shallots, jalapeños, ginger, macadamia nuts, coriander and turmeric with 2 tablespoons of the fish sauce and 2 tablespoons of the canola oil; puree until smooth.
- In a soup pot, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the seasoning paste and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the lemongrass and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture darkens slightly and the oil separates, about 10 minutes.
- Add the reserved shrimp stock, coconut milk, brown sugar and the remaining 2 tablespoons of fish sauce. Simmer over moderate heat until the soup is reduced to 6 cups, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, cook the rice noodles just until pliable, about 1 minute. Drain, shaking out the excess water. Transfer to 8 soup bowls.
- Add the shrimp to the soup and cook until pink and curled, about 5 minutes. Season the soup with salt and ladle it over the noodles. Garnish with lime wedges and serve.
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