Cookbook Profile

Shrimp with Fresh Coconut Milk,
Calabaza, and Avocado

Serves 6


The Broth

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 shallots, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 lemongrass stalk, thinly sliced
One 1-inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced
1 kaffir lime leaf
3 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup coconut milk, fresh or canned
4 cilantro sprigs
Fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper

The Shrimp

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped scallion
2 tablespoons chopped ginger
2 tablespoons canola oil
36 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 medium calabaza squash
     (found in Latino markets; you can substitute butternut squash)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 avocado
1 lime, halved

Prep: 35 minutes—Cook: 35 minutes

To make the broth, melt the butter in a small saut´┐Ż pan over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, and kaffir lime leaf and cook until tender; do not allow them to color. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and cilantro and simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and set aside.

For the shrimp, combine the cilantro, scallion, ginger, and oil in a large bowl. Season the shrimp generously with salt, pepper, and the cayenne pepper and add to the bowl, tossing to coat the shrimp with the cilantro mixture. Place the shrimp on a baking sheet, making sure they are not touching one another, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

Peel the squash with a chef's knife. Cut the squash into 1/2-inch cubes; you will need at least 60 cubes.

Combine the butter and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the squash dice, season with salt and pepper, and cook at a simmer until the squash is tender, about 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

Divide the squash cubes among six ovenproof soup bowls, leaving space to alternate with the avocado dice (which you will prepare just before serving). Set aside. (You can cover the bowls with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to serve the shrimp, up to 3 hours.)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the bowls from the refrigerator.

Shortly before serving (to prevent the avocado from browning), pit and peel the avocado. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes and place 10 pieces in each of the prepared soup plates, alternating with the squash.

Place the shrimp in the oven for 4 minutes, or until just barely cooked. During the last minute of cooking, put the prepared soup bowls in the oven to heat.

Meanwhile, reheat the reserved sauce over medium heat.

To serve, place 6 shrimp in each bowl, to form a pinwheel. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the sauce over the shrimp and squeeze the lime juice over all the bowls. Serve immediately.


Buy the Book!


A Return to Cooking
by Eric Ripert & Michael Ruhlman
$50.00, Hardcover
352 pages, more than 125 recipes
Nearly 400 color photographs and illustrations
Recipe reprinted by permission.


A Return to Cooking



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This page created April 2004