Friday, February 29, 2008

thai shrimp and coconut soup

Welcome to
Cooking with the Lunch Lady

Lest the thoughts of school lunch deter you from trying this recipe, let me assure you, your school lunch lady never made anything like this. The following soup is delicious, and fast and easy. Give it a try. You'll like it. (Even though it lacks all the fabulous cooking photography that seems to be the MO on blogs.)

Thai Shrimp and Coconut Soup

1 Tblsp sesame oil
1 lb medium fresh shrimp, peeled (or thawed, frozen precooked and peeled shrimp is ok)
1 Tblsp fresh grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1-2 tsp Thai green curry paste (red Asian chili sauce may be substituted)
5-6 c low-sodium chicken broth
1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
3 Tblsp fish sauce (optional)
2-3 Tblsp fresh lime juice
1 Tblsp brown sugar
2 green onions, cut into ½" pices (about 1/4 c) optional

Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; stir-fry 2-3 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Transfer shrimp to a plate. Add ginger, garlic, and bell pepper to pot, and saute 1-2 minutes or until tender. Stir in curry paste, broth, coconut milk, and, if desired, fish sauce. Add lime juice and brown sugar, and bring to a boil; reduce heat, and let simmer 5 minutes. Stir in shrimp. Garnish, if desired.

Yes, there are a few unusual ingredients, but they are worth the nominal investment, because you will want to make this soup over and over. If the idea of fish sauce is more than you can take, leave it out. If you can hack it, try it. Don't be turned off by the idea (or even the smell). It adds a nice subtle nuance to the soup, and is not at all offensive when actually in the soup. DO NOT TRY FISH SAUCE STRAIGHT FROM THE BOTTLE. If you do, you'll get what you deserve. There. I've warned you, and that's all I can do.

As the Swedish Chef might say "Gluten Gleeben Gloten Globen."

Or whatever.


Kate said...

I think I'm ready to make the investment of fish sauce. As disgusting as bottled fish juices sound, I'm sure it adds something to the soup that would not be attainable any other way.

Liz said...

Mmm. I love it! Thanks to everyone's recipes I pretty much have my whole menu planned for next week. Fish sauce is great - in stuff that is. I am a little worried about moving and having to get rid of my specialty ingredients. Would it be too weird to insist on bringing the contents of the fridge with me?

Nanette said...

I'm still looking for a bottle of oyster sauce another recipe calls for!
This recipe sounds so fancy shmancy!
I can't wait to try it(once I buy a bottle of fish sauce--ours expired:)
And I like your photo just as much!

Liz said...

In fact, you just might have the best food picture of the day.