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Green Curry Shrimp with Noodles

['1 cup chopped shallots (about 4)', '2 fresh lemongrass stalks (optional), 1 or 2 outer leaves discarded and lower 6 inches of stalks thinly sliced', '2 large garlic cloves, chopped', '1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger', '1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro stems', '1 to 2 tablespoons bottled Asian green curry paste', '11/2 teaspoons sugar', '3/4 teaspoon salt', '1/2 teaspoon turmeric', '1/4 cup water', '1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil', '1 (13- to 14-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk (not low-fat)', '1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (14 fl oz)', '3/4 lb dried flat 3/8-inch-wide rice noodles or 1/2 lb dried flat 1/8-inch-wide stir-fry rice noodles', '11/2 lb peeled and deveined large shrimp (21 to 25 per lb)', '2 to 3 teaspoons Asian fish sauce, or to taste', 'Accompaniment: fresh cilantro sprigs']

Purée shallots, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, and cilantro stems in a blender with curry paste, sugar, salt, turmeric, and water until as smooth as possible, about 1 minute.
Heat oil in a 4-quart wide heavy pot over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook curry paste mixture, stirring frequently, until it just begins to stick to bottom of pot, 8 to 10 minutes. Add coconut milk and broth and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 3 2/3 cups, 8 to 10 minutes.
While sauce simmers, cook noodles in a 6-quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water. Drain noodles well and divide among 4 large bowls.
Add shrimp to sauce and simmer, stirring, until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in fish sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Ladle shrimp and sauce over noodles.

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