Koala Fires practice space, Northside
Also, my apartment
Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt...Sorry—got Matt-tranced. Scratch all but three of those...and Kendall
Also, Joshua and me
Kendall's Angry Rock N Roll Soup Face (performed shortly after a coughing fit—apparently curry down the wind pipe is not recommended. Zonk!):
I was talking to Kendall last week about what kind of soup I could make to bring him and the Matt trifecta, and Koala Fires seemed to translate into spicy and Australian. Since I wasn't looking to go in search of kangaroo, I settled for Massive Stereotype: Shrimp on the Barbie!
To the roof!
TROMP TROMP TROMP TROMP
Make that Shrimp OFF the Barbie. De-skewering ahoy.
Truthfully, I don't know how much better the grill would've made it. But don't take my word for it! Quotes from Kendall, with commentary:
- "I feel like All The World's Been Staged...except this soup." (A plug for the Koala Fires album, but I'm up for that.)
- "This is better than the soup I had last week. Wait, what did you make last week?" (I agree; it was good, but pretty unmemorable.)
- "I'd like to eat this every two weeks." (Put it in the ol' iCal! One day, we shall tell time not in days or weeks, but in number of moons since the last Koala Fires soup.)
- "This might be the best meal I've had all year." (Flattery will get you everywhere, says Mae West (and that dude from Being John Malkovich))
You should probbbbbbbbably make this. It has an apparent spice, but the coconut milk makes it so cool and creamy that the spice is exhilarating but never distracting. Plus, it's a great excuse to go to Saigon Market (seriously, zero reason to buy pricey Southeast Asian ingredients at the grocery store when they're better and four times cheaper at Findlay).
Don't be scared when you see how long the recipe looks. It's actually easy, but it takes a few steps. I got home from the store at about 6p.m. and was out the door—futile rooftop dalliance and all—by 7:30, including packing up for transport (not always an easy task).
Bonus: The shrimp are really super good on their own. I can't wait until the grill is unfrozen so I can skewer some crustaceans and make these as an appetizer; although, when I do, I might be sad there's no soup underneath.
Shrimp Curry Noodle Soup
Adapted from a September 2005 Food & Wine recipe and a Bobby Flay recipe
5 cups baby spinach
1/2 pound snow peas, halved crosswise
1 14-ounce package rice vermicelli, or desired rice noodle
3 tablespoons peanut oil
4 shallots, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
5 teaspoons Thai panang curry paste
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
8 cups vegetable broth
2 14-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk
3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
2 scallions, thinly sliced
lime wedges, to serve
1 pound large shrimp (16-20 count)
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil (it's toasted!)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
juice of half a fresh lime
2 tablespoons peanut oil, plus a bit extra
toasted sesame seeds
Because the cooking of all this doesn't take very long, I'd say prep all your ingredients before you start cooking. This includes making the vinaigrette for the shrimp: simply whisk together soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, vinegar, lime juice, and peanut oil.
To prep your shrimp, peel, devein, and drizzle with a bit of peanut oil, seasoning with salt and pepper.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add baby spinach and snow peas and boil for about 30 seconds, then remove vegetables with a slotted spoon and reserve in a bowl.
Add rice noodles to the boiling salted water (which will now be a bit green, but won't impact the noodle color). Follow package directions--I cooked mine for about 4 minutes, then drained and shocked with cold water. Reserve cooked noodles in a bowl.
In your soup pot, heat peanut 1 tablespoon of peanut oil over medium-high. Add shallots and cook until light brown, then transfer with a slotted spoon to the bowl your vegetables are in.
Add remaining 2 tablespoons of peanut oil to pot, reducing heat to medium. Add curry paste, coriander, and turmeric, and cook for about 30 seconds (until fragrant). Add broth and cook for five minutes.
Add coconut milk and fish sauce, and leave at a low simmer while you cook the shrimp.
Heat a large frying pan or wok over medium-high. Add shrimp (oil already on them should be enough to keep the pan lubricated). Cook, stirring, until just opaque. Transfer shrimp to a bowl or plate, then drizzle with vinaigrette and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
One more step to the soup and then you're ready to eat: Stir in the scallions and cilantro.
To serve: First put desired amount of noodles, then vegetables, in each bowl. Ladle curry broth over noodles, then top each bowl with three tantalizing shrimpies. Serve each bowl with a lime wedge.