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Coconut Laksa with Shrimp
© Jonny Valiant

Coconut Laksa with Shrimp

  • ACTIVE: 1 HR
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 30 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 8
  • STAFF-FAVORITE

This hearty Southeast Asian noodle soup is sweet, spicy and vibrant, with a tropical creaminess from coconut milk.

  1. 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp—shelled and deveined, shells reserved
  2. 1 onion, quartered
  3. 1 carrot, sliced
  4. 3 large shallots, quartered
  5. 4 jalapeños, seeded and coarsely chopped
  6. 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh ginger
  7. 1/4 cup macadamia nuts
  8. 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  9. 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  10. 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
  11. 1/4 cup canola oil
  12. 2 plump lemongrass stalks—bottom 8 inches only, outer layer removed, stalk cut into 2-inch lengths
  13. One 14 1/2-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  14. 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  15. 1 pound Thai flat rice noodles (pad thai), soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
  16. Salt
  17. Lime wedges, for serving
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
Make Ahead

The recipe can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated overnight.

Suggested Pairing

Off-dry sparkling wine: NV Patrick Bottex La Cueille Bugey-Cerdon.

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