For a long time, we have been passionate lovers of the fusion cuisine that spreads out from the South of India, across the Malaysian Islands, and is greatly influenced by nearby Thailand and Vietnam. Combining the coconut cream, saffron and warm aromatic spices of Southern India, the lemongrass, Kaffir lime leaves, tomatoes and vermicelli of Malaysia and Thailand, to the pork sausage and umami fish sauce of Vietnam, this amazing feast is one to cherish for your own wild savory kitchen.
We used our favorite shrimp, which is Red Argentinian, plus massive amounts of mussel and clam meat, tons of squid, and lots of juicy ripe tomatoes. In these difficult shopping times, you can still acquire high quality seafood in frozen vacuum packaged trays, often times better in quality than seafood that has been sitting in the fish department for days. In your favorite supermarket, near the meat and fish department, is very often a freezer area that has prepared seafood. These trays of varied shellfish, without the shells, are a terrific and convenient source for a seafood extravaganza. These trays are very popular in Europe and are becoming more so here in the States. There is so much exotic umami flavors going on in this fusion seafood feast that we kept looking toward the door, expecting the Food Police to raid the place for redunculous excess. But they never came, so we feasted! Enjoy!
1 pound shrimp without their shells, headless, de-veined (We like Gulf Shrimp, Red Argentinian, or any wild caught. If you have shrimp in the shells, remove the shells and boil them down with 5 cups of water till you have 2 cups, and use that intense broth for this meal.)
10 to 12 ounces mussel meat, already cooked
10 to 12 ounces clam meat, already cooked
1 pound raw squid, cleaned and cut into two inch pieces
6 to 8 ounces sausage, cut into bite size pieces (pork, chicken or turkey)
1 pound capellini (Angel Hair pasta)
1 large pinch saffron, lightly pan heated and then crushed into a powder that is at least 1/2 teaspoon
2 tablespoons mirin or 2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon anchovy paste or 3 tablespoons fish sauce (we use Red Boat)
2 large shallots, finely chopped
4 large tomatoes with thick flesh, like dry farmed Early Girl, or 8 Campari hot house tomatoes
2 large stalks lemongrass, bruised with mortar, cut into 2 inch pieces
6 to 8 entire stalks Thai basil or regular basil
2 cups reduced shrimp broth or 2 cups clam juice
5 cloves garlic, crushed
12 oz white wine, (we like Chardonnay for this meal)
1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 inch grated fresh ginger
2 to 3 juicy limes, depending on size, squeezed
1 cup chopped cilantro, tightly packed
6 to 8 Kaffir lime leaves, cut into strips to release flavors
2 tablespoons coconut oil, 1 for sausages, 1 for the garlic and ginger
12 ounces coconut cream (better than coconut milk or “lite”, which is just the cream with water added)
1 tablespoon Sriracha chili sauce, if you like it spicy
salt and pepper to taste, about 1 teaspoon each
4 inches cinnamon stick, broken into 1 inch sections
2 teaspoons cumin, ground
4 green cardamom, ground
5 cloves, ground
3 star anise, ground
2 teaspoons coriander, ground
Dry roast (no oils) the spices in a small pan on low heat till they are fragrant. Set aside and allow to cool. Once cooled completely, grind it all together. These are your curry spices for this feast.
In a large pan, bring to boil 3 quarts of water, with two tablespoons of salt, and boil the pasta until just al dente. Strain into a colander, rinse with cold water, shake until loose and set aside.
In a ten inch fry or saute pan, using coconut oil, gently sear the sausage until just cooked, not browned.
In a 12 inch fry or saute´ pan, add the coconut oil and the crushed garlic. Heat slowly till just foaming and aromatic. Add the fresh ginger and finely chopped shallots, and marry with the garlic. Add the wine and reduce by 1/2, about five minutes.
Add the shrimp broth or clam broth, mirin or sugar, anchovy or fish sauce, and lemongrass, reduce by 1/2.
Add the coconut cream and simmer until married.
Add the lime juice and Kaffir lime leaves, allow the sauce to form a creamy texture.
Now add the already peeled shrimp, mussels, clams, sausages, squid, fresh tomatoes, cilantro, salt and black pepper, curry spices, saffron, cilantro, basil and Sriracha (if used) and simmer until the shrimp just begins to plump but not quite finished.
Remove from the heat. The shrimp will fully cook in the pan before serving, but will remain plump, crunchy and perfect. Place pasta on TOP of sauce, stir in and serve.
This fusion pasta is a very tasty, sexy and addictive feast from a fabulous region of exotic flavors. Enjoy!