My pantry might not be 100 percent perfect, but it seldom lets me down. The cupboards, fridge and freezer harbor lots of great stuff, and when I'm in the mood to play in the kitchen, I can find inspiration on every single shelf. That's how this shrimp and coconut curry noodle soup recipe came together. Craving a bowl of tom kha gai, the popular Thai chicken coconut soup, I foraged in the pantry. In the freezer, I found shrimp instead of chicken. There was plenty of red curry paste (there always is), and coconut milk, and scallions from the garden. With the addition of some thin fideo noodles that I usually use for Middle Eastern rice pilaf, I borrowed some mushrooms bought for a different recipe, and I had my soup. A word of caution: start slowly with the red curry paste; you can always add more. I might have made my soup just a bit spicier than the recipe indicates.
Shrimp and coconut curry noodle soup
1/2 lb large (21-25 or 26-30 size) shrimp, defrosted if frozen
1/2 tsp vegetable or rice bran oil
1-2 tsp Thai red curry paste, to taste
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1-1/2 cups chicken stock
1 15-oz can coconut milk
1/2 cup small, thin noodles (like fideos) or angel-hair pasta, broken into 1-inch pieces
1 Tbsp minced scallions
Fresh black pepper, to taste
Defrost the shrimp, if frozen, and remove the shells. Add the shells to a 3- or 4-quart sauce pan, along with the vegetable oil and red curry paste. Cook over medium heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Then, add the mushrooms, and cook for 1 minute.
Add the chicken stock, reduce heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes.
Pick out the shrimp shells with tongs (they should float to the top, which will make it easy). Add the coconut milk and the noodles. Cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
Add the shrimp, and continue to cook until the shrimp are pink and firm. At the last minute, add the scallions. Taste, and season with fresh black pepper.
More reasons to buy the large size tub of Thai red curry paste:
Thai red curry turkey meatballs
Red curry tofu with spinach and mushrooms
Red curry beef with mushrooms, red bell pepper and cilantro
Red curry shrimp dumplings
Salmon choo chee
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Thai coconut shrimp curry, from Skinnytaste
Thai shrimp and pineapple curry, from Rasa Malaysia
Red curry shrimp skewers, from Former Chef
Southern Thai sour curry with pineapple and shrimp, from She Simmers
Thai shrimp "Alfredo", from Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen
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