Serves 4


  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, tough outer leaves discarded and tender core thinly sliced
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
  • 1 4" piece ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Finely grated zest of 3 limes, plus 2 Tbsp. juice
  • 1¼ cup plus 1½ Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 20 large shrimp (about 1 pound), shelled and deveined, shells reserved
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1½ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1½" pieces
  • 1½ tsp. coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp. fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp. yellow mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp. hot paprika
  • 3 Tbsp. Asian fish sauce
  • Pinch plus ¾ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 Honeycrisp apple, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 yellow banana pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • 1 cup puffed rice
  • Hot chili oil


    Active time: 1 hour
    Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes

    In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine onion, lemongrass, jalapeños, ginger, garlic and lime zest and process to a paste. Set aside.

    In a large pot, heat ¼ cup oil over low heat. Add reserved onion mixture and set aside food processor bowl. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant and starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Add shrimp shells and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, until shells turn pink. Add coconut milk, sweet potatoes and 1 cup water and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pot a few times. Simmer over medium low heat, stirring a few times, until sweet potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes.

    Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, combine coriander, fennel and mustard seeds and cook over medium heat until toasted, about 1 minute. Transfer to a spice grinder and let cool. Grind spices and stir in paprika.

    Working in batches, puree sweet potato curry in food processor. Strain curry through a medium mesh strainer and return sauce to pot. Add lime juice, fish sauce and a pinch of salt.

    Light a grill. Put shrimp on a large plate and coat with remaining 1½ Tbsp. oil. Sprinkle with spice mixture and remaining ¾ tsp. salt and toss to coat. Grill shrimp over a hot fire, turning once, until nicely charred and just cooked, about 3 minutes.

    Ladle curry into 4 shallow bowls. Place 5 shrimp in each bowl. On top scatter apple sticks, banana pepper slices, cilantro, mint and puffed rice. Sprinkle with chili oil to taste and serve immediately.

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