Rush Hour

With spring upon us, you might think that a soup would be the last thing to welcome it. But if you are talking about an Asian noodle bowl brimming with tender shrimp, crisp seasonal asparagus and rice noodles swimming in a creamy coconut-chicken broth, you might reconsider. That's what I'm bringing you this month and I hope you will enjoy it.

This time of the year, asparagus is at the peak of its season. For this dish, choose tender, thin spears that are bright green in color. You could opt for the white asparagus also, but the green looks stunning in this dish and would be my first choice. If you like extra spicy food, opt for the Thai red curry paste instead of the roasted red chili paste. I like to use a 50/50 split. You can opt for full fat coconut milk, but then I strongly recommend using more chicken broth or you will end up with a very thick broth for your noodle bowl. I think that the lowfat coconut milk is a perfect way to go to get a good texture. Finally, you can omit the green onions at the end if you aren't a fan, but I think that they add a little extra freshness to the dish and that's especially welcomed this time of the year.

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at .

Shrimp & Asparagus Noodle Bowls

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 12 oz. fresh asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 12 oz. peeled shrimp
  • 14 oz. lowfat coconut milk
  • 14 oz. chicken broth
  • 1 T. roasted red chili paste or Thai red curry paste
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 oz. rice noodles
  • 2 green onions -- sliced

In a medium skillet, heat the oil over high heat and add the asparagus and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and sauté another 3 minutes. Add the coconut milk, chicken broth, chili paste and salt. Lower the heat to low.

Meanwhile cook the rice noodles according to the package directions. Drain and return to a medium saucepan. Add the coconut broth mixture and heat the dish before serving. Spoon into individual serving bowls and sprinkle with green onions.

  • Yields: 3-4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 25 minutes