This dish is aromatic and slightly spicy and forgiving for the beginner: If it sits there an extra few minutes, it's fine, because the soup ensures that the cod and shrimp won't dry out.

Serves 4


  • 2 (13½ ounce) cans unsweetened coconut milk
  • 6 small shallots, sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, cut crosswise into 3 pieces
  • 2 serrano peppers, sliced
  • 4-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • Finely grated zest of 2 limes
  • ½ cup loosely packed basil, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup loosely packed cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges, for serving

  • 6 ounces skinless cod, roughly chopped
  • ½ pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger


Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes

To make soup: In a large, heavy saucepan, combine coconut milk, 3 cups water, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, serrano peppers, and ginger and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer gently 5 minutes to infuse flavors. Remove pan from heat and stir in fish sauce and lime zest. Cover and steep 10 minutes. Pour soup through a fine-mesh strainer and into a saucepan, discarding solids. Cover and set aside.

To make dumplings: In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse cod until it begins to flake apart. Add shrimp, egg, fish sauce, and ginger and continue to pulse until shrimp are coarsely chopped and cod has formed a coarse paste. Using moistened hands, form fish mixture into about 32 balls (2 tsp. each).

Bring soup to a simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to low. Drop cod dumplings into soup and cook, turning a few times, just until dumplings are cooked through and shrimp flecks in dumplings turn pink, about 7 minutes. Ladle soup and dumplings into shallow bowls. Sprinkle with basil and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

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