Shrimp and mushroom laksa
This is our version of laksa, or spicy Malaysian noodle soup. We've found that cubed fish, scallops and chicken all work well in a laksa, but tender shrimp would have to be our favorite. The soft texture and mild flavor of button mushrooms complement the shrimp extremely well, and they also act like a sponge, soaking up the spicy soup.

2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
2 scallions (spring onions)—white and green parts sliced and seperated
2 cloves garlic—minced
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons red curry paste (or 3 teaspoons for a hotter laksa)
2 ½ cups chicken stock
1 ½ cups coconut milk
1 teaspoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fish sauce
10 button mushrooms—wiped clean and quartered
20 large raw shrimp—peeled and deveined
3 ½ oz (100g) dried rice stick noodles
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons cilantro (corinander leaves)—left whole


HEAT the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. ADD the white part of the scallion and saute 1 minute. ADD the garlic, turmeric, curry paste and cook 1 minute, stirring. ADD stock, coconut milk, sugar, salt and fish sauce and bring to the boil. REDUCE heat and simmer for 5 minutes, uncovered. WHILE the soup simmers, soak the noodles in boiling water for 10 minutes. ADD mushrooms to the soup, return to boil and cook 2 mins. ADD shrimp and cook 2 mins. STIR in lemon juice. DRAIN the noodles under cold water, put in bottom of soup bowls, scatter with scallions (green part) and cilantro and ladle the laksa soup on top.

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