|Shrimp laksa, infused with red curry, coconut, and ginger|
|Shrimp laksa full of vegetables: bok choy, bean sprouts, mushrooms, and eggplant |
with ginger and mukrat lime leaves
|Christmas time = tulip season in Australia|
inspired by The Best of Bill Granger
2 cups chopped eggplant
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 teaspoon rice bran oil (or other vegetable oil; divided use)
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
4 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth
2/3 cup coconut milk6 makrut lime leaves (3 whole leaves, and 3 leaves thinly sliced for garnish)
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 bunches baby bok choy
2 cups bean sprouts
2 cups prepared thin rice noodles (vermicelli noodles)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
fish sauce (optional)
Heat a wide sauté pan over medium-high heat. Coat the bottom of the pan with 1 teaspoon oil, and add the eggplant and mushrooms. Sauté until softened and eggplant is cooked through, about 6-7 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a large pot over medium-low heat. Coat the bottom of the pan with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Add the red curry paste, and stir around with a spatula until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the vegetable broth, coconut milk, ginger, and the three whole lime leaves. Turn the heat up to high, and bring the broth mixture to a slow simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 3-4 minutes to let the flavors infuse.
Add the shrimp and the cooked eggplant and mushrooms to the broth mixture. Continue to simmer until the shrimp turn pink, about 3-4 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium, and add the baby bok choy and bean sprouts, stirring carefully until the bok choy leaves begin to soften, about 2-3 minutes.
Distribute the prepared rice noodles into four bowls, and ladle the laksa over the noodles. Serve immediately with bowls of brown sugar, lime slices, thinly sliced lime leaves, and fish sauce, allowing everyone to season their laksa to taste. (We found that about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar was plenty; add a couple drops of fish sauce if you think it needs to be saltier; the sliced lime leaves are a must!)