Thursday, October 16, 2008
Thai Tamarind Shrimp
When our children were small and sitters scarce, we began having date nights in the kitchen. The theme was bistro or cucina, complete with stubby candles, spindly carnations and a checkered tablecloth. I would cook, and, Bob, who does a spot on improv of a continental waiter, would serve and pour. We had such a good time that you'll still find us in the kitchen on date night, sampling dishes from kitchens around the world. We move, on whim, from Europe to Asia or Africa and today's recipe is very much like one that would come from a restaurant - raan aharn - in Thailand. It requires a few Asian ingredients that will put me on your bad list, but I've provided links to where they can be ordered if they're not locally available. This is fast and easy to make, though I must warn you - it's addicting.
3 tablespoons (about 2 oz.) tamarind paste
2/3 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons chopped scallions + slivers for garnish
2 tablespoons golden or light brown sugar
2 tablespoons chicken stock
1 tablespoon nahm plah fish sauce
6 dried Thai chillies + chillies for garnish
1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 tablespoon Asian fried garlic from a can (mail order)
2 tablespoons Asian fried shallots (mail order)
1) Place tamarind paste in a small bowl. Cover with boiling water. Stir well; let sit for 30 minutes. Stain; reserve 6 tablespoons of juice for sauce and refrigerate remainder for another use.
2) Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add onion and cook until softened and beginning to brown.
3) Stir in sugar, stock, fish sauce, reserved 6 tablespoons tamarind juice and dried chillies. Stir. Bring to a boil.
5) Add shrimp, dried garlic and dried onion; stir until shrimp are cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer to serving plate. Garnish with onion slivers and additional chillies. Yield: 4 servings.