As part of our eat better, eat well promise to ourselves for the New Year, I present to you this Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup that utilizes my typical pantry items. If you don’t keep these ingredients in this recipe in your arsenal, you might consider adding them as staples of your pantry. You will thoroughly enjoy them! You know…they say that spicy foods increase your metabolism, so this should fit the bill for a slimmer waistline in 2017.
My recent travels to the South has opened my eyes to some flavors I’ve never had before. Red beans and rice in New Orleans, turnip greens in Alabama, and all the way in Oyster Bay, New York for some very tasty lamb with a combination of flavors I can’t even describe. So, as a New Years resolution, I am challenging myself to embrace a variety of flavors and spices. I’ve been wearing out my spice grinder and developing some really deep and interesting flavors in my recipes. This is one of them. You can create your own signature mix of spices for chicken, fish, beef, pork; you name it. Or for a vegetarian version of this recipe, leave out the shrimp and add riced cauliflower, quinoa or farro. I will also be right with you trying my hand at riced cauliflower to see what are all the things I can do to it and use it for in 2017.
Riced cauliflower is all the rage these days and you can find it in the grocery store freezer section. But, it’s also super easy to make by just blitzing a head of califlower (broken into smaller pieces) into a rice-like consistency in your blender or food processor. Cauliflower, quinoa and farro and great for your waist because of their low glycemic index, meaning they are not high in carbohydrates. Also good news.
I used a Wok to prepare this dish. It gets super hot so that the curry paste can easily be cooked without burning. It’s best to cook any curry paste for 2 to 3 minutes before adding other ingredients. Otherwise, you’ll get a weird raw spice taste that isn’t very pleasant. You’ll know when it’s cooked because it puts off a deep aroma, darkens a bit and thickens. Trust me! Cook those spices through!
This soup is wonderful for grab and go pantry items and can easily be made in 30 minutes.
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup curry powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, from a whole nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp peanut oil
- 2 cups unsalted chicken stock/broth
- 2 cans coconut milk
- 3/4 cup gochujang
- 2 tbsp fish sauce, plus 1/4 tsp for serving
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (or Shoyu), plus 1/4 tsp for serving
- 1 lime, juice and zest
- 1 lb shrimp or prawns, peeled, deveined, de-tailed
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 lime, zest +juice of half the lime
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 3 scallions, sliced, green & white parts
- 1 tbsp lime crema
- Sambal and/or Sriracha, to taste
Combine the garlic, onion, curry powder, cloves, nutmeg, pepper, and red pepper flakes in a small mini-prep food processor (or grind in a mortar and pestle).
Heat the oil in a wok or large saucepan (the wok works the best). Add the curry paste mixture to the hot wok and cook for 2 to 3 minutes and high. This step is crucial to cook out the rawness of the spices.
Add the stock, coconut milk, gochujang, fish sauce, soy sauce and lime juice and zest. Let the soup cook on medium high heat for 15 minutes.
While the soup cooks, slice 2 to 3 scallions at an angle. Set aside. Prepare the avocado by peeling and cutting into small cubes. Prepare the lime crema by adding the zest of lime and the juice of half the lime. Mix and set aside.
After the soup cooks for 15 minutes, add the shrimp and cook a minute or two. Serve with lime crema, lime zest, avocados, and scallions. Sambal and/or Sriracha to your liking.
Let your taste buds dictate whether to add a touch more soy sauce, fish sauce or Sambal. I like a spicy dish so I add everything! Trust your own palette my friend!