Spaghetti With Shrimp, Togarashi, and Thai Basil Oil

"I made this today for lunch from the January 2011 issue of Bon Appetit. This was my first experience with Shaoxing wine and togarashi (Japanese spice blend). I enjoyed both! This recipe is really good. I cheated and used a store-bought basil oil instead of making mine fresh as this looks like it yields way more basil oil than is needed to drizzle on the dish. Perhaps in the summer, I will try making the basil oil for this dish and then using it for other recipes. Also, my sauce came out a little more liquidy than I would have expected (it still tasted good), so you may want to simmer longer. I simmered longer than 20 minutes (more like 30 or 35) and turned up the heat when simmering the clam juice and Shaoxing and also simmered the cream sauce longer and it was still liquidy, but tasted good. This is supposed to serve 8 appetizer servings. I would say it serves about 4-6 for lunch."
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
1hr 15mins


  • 12 cup packed fresh Thai basil (or fresh sweet basil leaves)
  • 14 cup plus 3 tb olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons minced lemongrass
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 (8 ounce) bottles clam juice
  • 12 cup shaoxing wine
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 24 uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 1 tablespoon shichimi togarashi


  • Blanch basil in small saucepan of boiling water 5 seconds; drain. Squeeze water from basil; place in blender. Add 1/4 cup oil and pinch of salt and blend until smooth. Strain basil oil into small pitcher. (Do ahead: Basil oil can be made 1 week ahead. Cover; chill).
  • Heat 1 Tb oil in heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallot, lemongrass, and garlic; saute until soft, about 2 minutes. Add clam juice and Shaoxing. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 20 minutes. Add cream; simmer sauce until reduced to 1 3/4 cups, about 20 minutes.
  • Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, sprinkle shrimp with shichimi togarashi and salt. Heat 2 Tb oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; cook until opaque in center, turning once, about 5 minutes.
  • Drain pasta; transfer to large bowl. Reheat sauce. Toss pasta with sauce. Place shrimp atop pasta; drizzle with basil oil.

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I work full-time as a School Psychologist in Michigan. Besides the kids, one of the best aspects of the job is summer vacation, when I can concentrate on doing more of the things that I like to do---like look up recipes and play games on Recipezaar!!! I married my wonderful and handsome husband, Sean, in August 2007. He is becoming a wonderful gardender and tends to both our veggie and herb gardens. We really enjoy cooking with our own fresh ingredients. We most often cook together, so my reviews typically reflect our joint opinions. He's the better cook, so I pick up a lot of my techniques from him. My other interests include reading (now that I have time), Irish dancing (I've taken a class for the last several years), "appreciating" wine (I use the term very loosely), and listening to and going to see Irish bands (I love the Pogues). I also enjoy travelling, especially around Western Europe, where I have been multiple times. One of my favorite places is Italy, and Sean and I had a great time on our honeymoon eating, drinking, and sightseeing in the Cinque Terre and in Tuscany. This July 2009, we expanded our horizons to Eastern Europe and visited the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Croatia. Two of my favorite dishes on the trip were Croatian: fish brodet and Hvarska gregada. I am looking forward to trying my hand at making them at home as I see that someone on Zaar, who is Croatian, posted recipes for both! Besides my husband, the other lights of my life are my cats: Chloe, Pip, and my newest ragdoll cat, Giselle, all of whom I absolutely adore. <a href="¤t=PipChloe_web.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Pip and Chloe"></a> <a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Giselle"></a> I've participated in the following events: <img src="" border="0" alt= "Photobucket"> <img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"> <img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"> <img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"> I most recently had the privelege of being on the ZWT5 Team, the Sultans of Spice, with a great group of people. We came in second place! <img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"> <img src=>
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