This is one dish I cooked for the husband one evening when we were in Singapore. It is very light and healthy.
I love seafood and it was great to be able to go to a “wet market” (a.k.a fresh produce market) to get fresh squid and shrimp for a fraction of what it would cost me here…
Anyway as a general tip for you guys who are able to get whole unpeeled shrimps, rip off the heads, and remove the shells (keeping the tail) and freeze them. They will be great for a tasty broth. To me all the good stuff is in the head anyway. So, that’s what I did.
You will need:
- ¼ lbs shrimps, heads removed, shelled and deveined + extra frozen heads if available
- 2 calamari tubes and their tentacles (it was really easy to clean by the way!) – tubes sliced into rings
- 3 – 4 cups water
- 3-4 chillies smashed
- 1 in ginger, peeled and grated
- 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
- 2 kaffir lime leaves, shredded (you can use dried ones that you will have to re-hydrate)
- 1 lemongrass stalk cut in 2 and smashed
- 1 small pinch of salt
- 4 tablespoons fish sauce + extra if not salty enough
- 1 small lime, juiced
- a handful of rice vermicelli (really fine ones)
- 1 onion chopped finely
- vegetable oil for frying
- chopped garlic chives or regular chives for decoration
First, start by soaking the vermicelli in cold water for at least 5 minutes. Because we use the fine ones, the soaking will be enough and it will not be necessary to boil them to cook.
Secondly, heat up the oil in a pan or a wok and add the finely chopped onion and cook until browned and crispy but not burned. Place on paper towel to remove the excess oil. This part is optional but it’s nice to have different textures in your mouth.
Then, we need to prepare the broth. Bring 3-4 cups of water to the boil, then add the shrimps heads and shells and lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes, pressing the heads from time to time so they can release some flavors. Remove the heads and shells using a strainer and press down to get all the juices.
Add the ginger, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, chillies and lemongrass to flavor. Add the salt and fish sauce until you are satisfied the saltiness level. Leave to cook for a few minutes then add the calamari and cook for 3 minutes before adding the shrimps that will need to cook for 2 minutes. Take off the heat.
In 2 bowls, put some of the soaked vermicelli and add the broth with the seafood. Top with the crispy onion.