Incredibly Flavorful Wild Blue Mexican Shrimp & Noodle Soup
This soup is full of complex, amazing flavor that’s perfect for approaching cooler weather. Although making the broth and paste separately might seem like extra work, trust me - it’s well worth the effort. This soup is a real showstopper and the incredible flavors will have you making this recipe again and again. As an added bonus, all of the herbs and spices make this warm and nourishing broth an excellent choice for anytime you might feel a cold or sore throat coming on. Our wild blue Mexican shrimp are the perfect starring ingredient for this soup and are always Fair Trade, deveined by hand and easy to peel.
Fair Trade Certified Wild Caught Blue Mexican Shrimp
Wild caught Mexican blue shrimp are renowned for the excellent, sweet flavor and tender yet crisp texture. They’re large in size and have a beautiful blue hue when uncooked. They are caught using the most sustainable methods in existence for harvesting shrimp. Fishermen use small-scale sailboats and an artisanal technique known as suripera. This method involves using the wind and tides to skillfully drift a highly selective net, resulting in the lowest fuel consumption and bycatch rates in the world.
Bycatch is the term for marine animals, like dolphins, turtles and others, who are harmed in the process of fishing for seafood. Additionally, these are the only Fair Trade certified shrimp on the planet. It’s never been more important than it is now to choose seafood options that are conscious of environmental impact. Our sources go above and beyond industry standards taking care every step of the way to protect the oceans, the wildlife and their employees.
For the aromatic broth:
- 6 whole cloves
- 5 whole green cardamom pods
- 4 whole star anise pods
- 3 dried Thai red chiles (you can substitute crushed red pepper flakes to taste if desired)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 3 medium shallots cut in half
- 5 large cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
- 2 pieces lemongrass, peeled and gently smashed
- 1 4 inch pieces of fresh ginger, peeled, sliced into ½ inch pieces
- 12 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the paste:
- ½ cup cashews
- 1 red jalapeno pepper, minced
- 1 3 inch piece of lemongrass, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon shrimp paste with bean oil
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
For the soup:
- 4 12 ounce packages soba noodles
- 1 pound Wild Blue Mexican Shrimp, peeled
- ½ pound mung bean sprouts or other fresh sprouts
- 4 green onions, sliced thin
- 2 cups fresh Thai basil
- 2 cups fresh cilantro
- 2 cups fresh mint
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Chili oil (Trader Joe’s makes a good one) and lime slices for garnish as desired
- Toast the spices in a large pot over medium heat for the broth. Stir frequently, being careful not to let them burn, for two minutes or so until they become noticeably fragrant. Add the chicken or vegetable broth, fish sauce, cilantro, shallots, garlic and lemongrass. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for approximately 90 minutes. Strain the solids out of the broth, pressing them into the sieve to extract as much flavor as possible. Put the strained broth back into the pot and season generously to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- To make the paste, finely grind the cashews in a food processor or high speed blender. Add the shallot, red jalapeno, lemongrass, fresh ginger, coconut sugar and shrimp paste. Blend until smooth. Then, heat the avocado oil in a small cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the paste to the skillet and cook for approximately 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Cook the soba noodles according to the directions on the package. Drain and briefly rinse them under cold water. Bring the broth in the pot to a simmer and add the peeled shrimp. Cook just until the shrimp are cooked through, approximately 2 minutes. Distribute the noodles into bowls for serving. Add 2 tablespoons of the cooked paste to each bowl, and then add broth over the top. Stir to combine the paste evenly. Top off each bowl with shrimp, sprouts, fresh herbs, and chopped green onions for garnish. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.