In my early twenties I was lucky enough to be a waitress at a restaurant called the King and I (way back when It was located on Nicolett Mall.) The chef would cook for us after every shift! There was a dish on the menu called Palatial Shrimp Soup. One of the most expensive dishes on the menu, it was a luxurious, slightly spicy, orange tinted coconut soup served over a bed of cabbage. So good! I have tried to Google up this recipe so many times but apparently this is some kind of generic made up name. It wasn't until last winter we were at a friends dinner party and I couldn't believe it. There it was. The Palatial Shrimp Soup! Well not quite. But it was definitely a coconut based spicy shrimp soup. And maybe it was actually just a little better...GASP!?! Where the Thai soup was a little sweet, this one was, well, indian? There was definiltly no cilantro in the palatial soup. It was embarrassing how much we all ate! Luckily our host shared her recipe and the rest is history.
With two pounds of shrimp, it's the perfect amount for four people. If you have more people just add a half pound more protein per person. I say protein and not shrimp because you could totally sub out thinly sliced chicken, beef, calamari, whatever floats your boat. On that note, yes you can get 2 pounds of shrimp for cheap at Trader Joes, but sometimes I stop by Coastal Seafoods and get it there. That way I know it is clean and sustainably sourced. If I'm lucky it's a Monday when shrimp is 20% off.
I made a few changes to fit how we stack our pantry. I always use AROY-D coconut milk. The results are predictable and it only contains coconut. NO gums or weird flavors/preservatives. You can get it at Cub or almost any grocery store these days. If you have to get some other brand please choose the full fat or coconut cream version.
Since you never know how hot the serrano pepper will be you could add 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes and the other at the end when you taste the final dish. After working at the King and I for three years I'm not to be trusted on whether something is too spicy or not. If you're really scared of heat, try omitting seeds from the Serrano. It's really quick and easy to make and pretty impressive to company. I recommend getting a large microplane to grate the ginger and garlic. Chopping these often takes the fun out of cooking if you don't have massive knife skills. Oh yeah- don't skip the mustard seeds!
Also, please add salt if needed. When I use homemade broth it is often WAAAAY less salty than store bought. Salt is your friend. Make your food taste good. The "1 tsp" in the recipe is a starting point.
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