Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Thai Coconut Shrimp (Prawn) Recipe

I get my shrimp from the fishmonger at my farmer's market. They are, by far, the best prawns I've ever had. I love botanebi, or botan shrimp (the type of sweet shrimp where the heads are coated in potato flour and fried while the tails are left raw) and hokkoku akaebi which is smaller but equally as yummy. But the prawns I use most often are larger and I buy a pound at a time...probably once a month - a pound of these are $16.99. That is a bit rich for my blood but they are worth it. Sweet and lovely.

I made the soup the other night and it was yummy!

For the broth:
Prawn Shells
3 cups of good chicken broth
3 bruised lemongrass stalks
Half an onion
2 cloves of smashed garlic
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 package Pad Thai rice noodle – cook according to your taste and rinse in cold water – set aside.

For the base:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (galangal is best)
1/2 pound (3 to 4 medium) carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced
½ lb zucchini cut into bit sized chunks
1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut milk
1 tablespoon gluten free cornstarch
1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed (save for broth)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
TSP Fish sauce
Top with:
4 green onion, thinly sliced
Handful basil & coriander (cilantro) – roughly chopped
chili oil - if you aren't serving kids

Tools: 2 pots, knives, cutting boards, colander, fine mesh strainer, stirring spoon


2. Peel your prawns, clean them and set aside

3. Make your broth - put all of the broth ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil and set to simmer for around 15-25 minutes (or as long as it takes you to do the rest of the stuff for the soup). 

4. Make the soup
Heat oil in a large (3-quart) saucepan over medium-low heat. Add ginger, garlic, carrots and zucchini cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Add, coconut milk, and your stock (use the fine mesh strainer to catch the veggies & spices while pouring in the liquid). In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water until smooth; add to pot. Bring to a boil.
Add shrimp; stir until shrimp are just pink, about 1 minute. Add fish sauce. Remove pot from heat and stir in lime juice.
Put a serve of noodle into a bowl (1.5 cups) and ladle soup over it. Garnish with green onion, basil & coriander. To add more heat add some chili oil at the end. But if you are serving to children - skip the chili oil.
Open a nice Tsingtao.

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