This is one of the easiest suppers to make and somehow, however much I know this, it always surprises me. Not in the cooking, so much as in the eating: I can’t believe, each time anew, how deep and textured and full-throttle, in a sweet, comforting way, this tastes, when all I did was a bit of shopping and some light stirring.
Obviously it helps if you can have some of the convenience stuff I list below: The peeled and cubed squash, sweet potato, and mango I find at the supermarket make this a breeze. But if you can’t find them, no matter: Add some drained canned chickpeas and perhaps, for some sour-sweet edge, some pineapple that’s been in its own juice, not syrup. As for the coconut milk, I often use the whole can rather than a mere half below; it really depends on whether I feel like eating out of a deep bowl, soupily, or a shallow one. To go with I suggest either plain rice or some plain wide rice noodles cooked according to package instructions (all of about 2 minutes) and tossed in some toasted chopped unsalted coconut-flavored peanuts.
If you have some fresh shrimp so much the better, but I stipulate the frozen ones below since I regularly keep them in the freezer for an evening when I feel like eating gorgeously with very little forethought.
- 1 scallion, finely sliced
- 1 tablespoon garlic or chile oil
- 1½ tablespoons red Thai curry paste (or according to taste)
- about half of a 14-oz can coconut milk to give 1 cup
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce (nam pla)
- 12 oz/2½ cups butternut squash and sweet potato cubes
- 7 oz frozen king shrimp to give 2 cups
- 1 cup mango cubes
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 3–4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Fry the sliced scallion in the oil for a minute, then add the curry paste.
Whisk in the coconut milk, stock, and fish sauce and bring to a boil.
Tip in the butternut squash and sweet potato cubes and simmer, partially covered, for about 15 minutes or until tender.
Drain the shrimp under running water to remove excess ice and tumble them into the pan, letting the sauce come back to a boil. When it does, add the diced mango and lime juice and cook for another minute or so until the shrimp are cooked through.
Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro as you serve over plain rice or wide rice noodles, or even both.
Nutritional information is based on 4 servings.