Shrimp in coconut-milk broth

(Photo, Food Styling By Beatrice Peltre)
By Beatrice Peltre
June 3, 2009

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Serves 4

Most varieties of shrimp are available year-round, but when the weather turns warm, the curvy seafood is quite good in a light coconut-milk-based broth, with green vegetables such as crunchy snap peas. First, toss the shrimp in a marinade of ginger, lemongrass, chili, and garlic, mirin (rice wine for cooking), Asian fish sauce, peanut oil, and lime rind and juice. Refrigerate this while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Then saute the shrimp in a wok and add chicken stock and coconut milk to make the broth. Complete the dish with a large handful of sugar snap peas and scallions. Ladle the mixture over jasmine rice and sprinkle it with fresh cilantro. Vary the greens - add asparagus, fresh sweet peas, or tiny florets of broccoli - to change the dish each time.

2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, finely chopped
1 piece (1 inch) fresh ginger root, finely chopped
Grated rind and juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce, or to taste
1 tablespoon mirin
1 small habanero, seeded and finely chopped
1 1/2 pounds shrimp, deveined
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 pound sugar snap peas
3 scallions, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

1. In a large bowl, combine the garlic, lemongrass, ginger, lime rind and juice, 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil, the fish sauce, and habanero. Add the shrimp and toss gently. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. In a wok or large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons peanut oil over medium heat. When it is hot, add the shrimp and cook, stirring often, for 4 minutes.

3. Add the stock and coconut milk. Simmer for 3 minutes. Add the peas and cook 2 minutes more. Taste for seasoning and add more lime juice or fish sauce, if you like.

4. Add the spring onions. Ladle over jasmine rice and sprinkle with fresh cilantro.