Clay Pot of Fish and Shellfish with Rice Noodles and Thai Broth
Fresh fish and shellfish cooked in a stock scented with Asian spices and spiked with Thai peppers arrive at the table in a large clay pot. The pot, which has been heated in hot water before it was filled, keeps the soup warm. The Thai peppers pack a punch; adjust the heat to your own taste by using fewer peppers, or by taking them out of the broth when you deem it hot enough.
- Fragrant Thai Fish Stock
- Chicken Stock - 8 cups (2 quarts)
- Galangal - 8 slices
- Lemongrass stalks - 3, bottom 6 inches only, sliced diagonally
- Fresh Thai chili Peppers - 8 small, red or green, coarsely chopped
- Coconut Milk - 1/2 cup
- Salt - 2 teaspoons
- Sugar - 1 teaspoon
- Fish sauce - 4 tablespoons
- Dried Rice Noodles - 1/2 pound
- Peanut Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Shallots - 1/2 cup, sliced
- Mussels - 6, scrubbed and debearded
- Clams - 12
- Fresh Shrimp - 6, cut in half lengthwise
- Scallops - 6, cut in half crosswise
- Fresh Fish - six, 1/4-inch-thick slices fresh
- Fresh Basil Leaves - 3 or 4
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Freshly ground black pepper - 1 teaspoon
- Fresh Coriander Leaves - 3 or 4
To make the stock: Put the chicken stock, galangal, lemongrass, and chilies in a pot. Bring almost to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Simmer for 45 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, salt, sugar, and fish sauce. Set aside.
Immerse the clay pot or terrine in hot water to heat it. Put the rice noodles in a bowl and pour hot water over them to cover; set aside. When the water has cooled, drain the excess.
To prepare the fish and shellfish: Heat the peanut oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. When hot, add the shallots and stir for 15 seconds. Add the mussels and clams and stir. Add 2 cups of the Thai fish stock and cover. Cook just until the shells begin to open, about 1 minute (discard any which never open). Stir in the rest of the stock and bring to a low boil. Add the remaining seafood and cook 1 to 2 minutes, until just opaque throughout. Remove from heat.
Drain the clay pot or terrine. Put the drained rice noodles in the bottom. Add the basil leaves. Ladle the seafood and broth into the pot or terrine. Sprinkle with lemon juice, pepper, and coriander leaves and bring to the table.